Lib Dems release huge new policy to reverse Labour's "damaging" 22% tax hike for poorest in Manchester


John Leech today announced new plans to reverse Labour's recent 22% tax hike for the poorest residents in Manchester.

In March 2017, Manchester Council slashed Council Tax Support for low earners from 85% to an all-time low of 82.5%, down again from 90% just a few years ago.

Residents on Council Tax Support also have to pay 17.5% of the new increased Council Tax, which also went up by 5%, with reduced support, meaning their total payable hike in tax was more than 22%.

The wealthiest saw an increase of just 4%.

John Leech was the only councillor out of 96 to vote against the rise in 2017, and today announced plans to reverse what he calls a "drastic lapse in judgement."

Announcing the policy today, Councillor Leech said: "When this tax increase was put to council, I voted against the plans because it simply meant that the least well off in our city saw a staggering increase of 22% in the tax they pay each year.

"It was not an example of those with the broadest shoulders bearing the greatest burden. Today, I'm delighted to announce our fully costed plans to reverse Labour's drastic lapse in judgment that has added enormous pressure on to already strained families.

"Our plans will put money back in the pockets of those that are struggling the most and is another example of how the Liberal Democrats will build a Manchester together."


The plans will be partly paid for by reducing the number of councillors from 96 to 64 - a move that the Liberal Democrats in Manchester have been in favour of for more than two decades. Had Manchester Council implemented these reductions when the party first began calling for it, the council would have saved more than £20 million by now - more than enough to reverse this policy.

The full policy:
"The decision to charge the least well off in our city a higher percentage increase in council tax than the most well off is a clear example of Labour getting it critically wrong; the wealthiest in our city saw a rise of just 4% whilst the least well off saw a staggering 22% rise.

"Liberal Democrats will reverse this damaging policy.

"Studies show that the legal fees paid by the council to enforce this policy are far outweighing the additional revenue generated.

"All this does is add immense pressure to thousands of families already under strain.

"This reversal would be paid for by our long-held position of reducing the number of councillors across the city from 96 to 64 saving an estimated £4 million per term.

"Our plans will put money back in the pockets of those that are struggling the most - another example of how the Liberal Democrats will build a Manchester together."


The full 'Manchester Together' manifesto can be found here: www.johnleech.org.uk/manifesto 


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