We haven't always been the best of friends with Essex County Council, as they haven't always been the wisest spenders of taxpayers' money. Today, though, I'm delighted to say they have announced something excellent: a council tax rebate.
Recognising that people are suffering increased hardship in the grip of the credit crunch, their leader Lord Hanningfield has announced that they plan to give the rebate to pensioners, poor families and members of the Armed Forces. This will be a welcome relief from the ever-rising levels of tax, household and other bills, and Essex are to be applauded for recognising what everyone knows but few in power will say: tax is a serious burden on household finances and reducing it is a great way to help those in need.
I fervently hope that, having found the budget savings to afford this one-off repayment, Lord Hanningfield and his colleagues make the rebate permanent by giving the people of Essex a tax cut. The rebate is a good move and will help a lot of people, but a tax cut would make an even bigger difference to people's lives and make Essex a leading council in breaking open the untruth that council tax must always inexorably rise.
If you want to help pile on the pressure for more council tax rebates and cuts, please join the TaxPayers' Alliance - for FREE - here.