Birmingham's Labour councillors have voted to impose a 20 per cent council tax charge on the city's poorest households. A few months ago Labour was calling this charge 'the new poll tax'. But the grotesque thing is that this charge - to be levied on some of the most vulnerable Birmingham residents - is unnecessary. The council is not required to make the charge and worse, Labour turned down a grant of £2.1 million from the Liberal Democrat-Conservative Coalition government offered to help prevent the tax from being imposed.
Tyburn Ward campaigner Ann Holtom praised Lib Dem leader Paul Tilsley for leading the opposition to this move in the Council chamber. Ann said she supported Cllr Tilsley because efforts to bring in the charge are likely to be ineffective and will penalise the poorest. What the council needs to do is step up efforts against council tax fraud. 35 councillors, all Liberal Democrat and Conservative, voted against the new charge.
Ann Holtom said: "It is shameful how Labour, including our three Labour councillors in Tyburn Ward, bleats about government cuts but then turns down government money which would have helped keep bills down for some of the most vulnerable in our city".