“Cost of living rebate” rejected

Labour Council bosses blocked small rebate on Council Tax bills amid rising fuel bills, at last night’s Council meeting.

Liberal Democrat councillors proposed an amendment to the annual budget to reduce the impact of Council Tax rises by giving all households in Council Tax bands A to D a reduction by cutting up to 30% off the latest increase.

In total, 62,000 households in Merton would benefit from the rebate – equivalent to 72% of all households in the borough. The rebate would be funded by using some unallocated reserves.

Speaking after the Council meeting, the Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate for Wimbledon, Cllr Paul Kohler, said:

“With energy bills skyrocketing and the Conservative Government set to increase taxes in April, families across Merton are already having to make difficult choices.

“They have been abandoned by the Conservative Government, whose failure to take action has allowed the cost of living crisis to spiral out of control and whose tax rises risk pushing thousands into financial hardship.

“Whilst it’s not as big a rebate as we would like, we felt it was the least local councillors could do to support families that are struggling to make ends meet.

“I was disappointed that Labour and Merton Park Residents Association councillors wouldn’t join me in voting for the Liberal Democrats’ amendment tonight. Cash-strapped households don't need more taxes - they need a break.”

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