Bristol will be one of the few Councils in the country to protect the Council Tax Reduction Scheme in the face of sweeping cuts to local governments. The extension of the scheme, which helps households on low incomes pay their Council Tax, was announced at a Cabinet meeting last night.1
Green councillors called for the scheme to be protected during last year’s budget negotiations, and are pleased that it has now been extended.
Councillor Carla Denyer, who gave a statement2 welcoming the news at the Cabinet meeting, said:
“I am delighted that the Council Tax Reduction Scheme, which gives the poorest in our city a discount on their council tax, is being extended. The scheme is especially needed at a time when callous government cuts have led to a necessary increase in council tax to fund adult social care.
“Our current regressive Council Tax systems costs the poorest residents of the city proportionally more of their income than the richest. That is totally unfair.”
“If it were up to us, the tax and benefits systems in the UK would be very different. The Green Party would radically reform the current system by replacing most benefits with a Universal Basic Income that tackles poverty traps. In addition we would replace Council Tax with a much more progressive tax linked to land values which would be lower than 80% of existing council tax bills. However in the current tax system, protecting the Council Tax Reduction Scheme is essential as it helps those most in need pay their bills.”
“We are proud that Bristol is one of the 41 out of 326 local authorities who will continued to fully fund the Council Tax Reduction Scheme this year and are delighted that the Mayor and officers have agreed to our calls to extend it.”