From: Andrew Allison, national grassroots co-ordinator, The Taxpayers’ Alliance, Tufton Street, London.
I WOULD like to respond to two letters (Yorkshire Post, February 7); the first from Coun Sandy Taylor of York City Council implied the TaxPayers’ Alliance (TPA) does not represent the interests of ordinary taxpayers. This could not be further from the truth. How can a council tax increase benefit those families already struggling to pay their bills? He also fails to acknowledge that the Government’s grant (equivalent to a 2.5 per cent council tax increase) is there to soften the blow while councils continue to look for more efficiency savings.
Those councils who are planning increases (like York where council tax has increased by 50 per cent in the last 10 years) are refusing the Government’s offer because they are not looking hard enough for further efficiencies. If the majority of councils can find those savings, with some reducing council tax, why can’t councils like York?
The second letter from Bob Holland asks the question: will those who benefit most from this freeze in tax be owners of the most valuable houses? Although a freeze would be worth a higher value to those in bigger houses, it would also represent a smaller share of the household income, therefore proportionally of less value to someone who is richer. It is also worth noting, after VAT, council tax is the second most burdensome tax for poorer families.
Mr Holland also asks who the leaders of the TPA are. This information is freely available on our website, although I can tell him our chief executive and co-founder, Matthew Elliott, was born and brought up in Leeds.