Local Liberal Democrat parliamentary spokesperson Jo Swinson has hit out at Labour plans to revaluate homes in Scotland and introduce a new top band for council tax that were leaked to newspapers this weekend.
Jo Swinson said: “Labour have been forced to come clean: a vote for Tony Blair’s party in this election is a vote for further pensioner poverty.
“Labour have been using Wales as a guinea pig for their revaluation plans so we can see what to expect in Scotland. In Cardiff alone, 2/3rds of homes have been put into a higher tax band and the increases have been so extreme that in some areas Labour have been forced to
allow homeowners to spread their payments over two years.
“Revaluation will hit areas such as East Dunbartonshire the hardest. Towns like Milngavie and Bearsden have seen houses massively increase in value over the past decade. Their owners – including many pensioners on fixed income – will see their tax bills go through the roof.
“Only the Liberal Democrats offer a real alternative – local income tax. Under this system most people will pay less, particularly pensioners. The Tories can only cheer Labour’s plans on the sidelines – after all Michael Howard was one of the architects of the council
tax when he was a cabinet minister.”
Jo Swinson has also hit out at Labour’s council tax discount to pensioners announced in the budget two weeks ago: “This is one of the most cynical attempts at bribing the electorate
ever undertaken by a government. This discount wasn’t offered to pensioners last year when there wasn’t a general election, and it won’t be on offer next year either. By contrast, local income tax offers the average single pensioner savings of between £300 and £1400, year after year.
“The council tax system is coming apart at the seams and should be scrapped – one off discounts won’t save it.”