Extension of Council Tax Reduction Scheme welcomed

The Plaid Cymru campaign to protect over 19,000 Carmarthenshire families from a cut in their council tax support continues to be successful after the Welsh Government confirmed this week it would be extending the support for another year.

Responsibility for Council Tax Benefit (CTB) was devolved to the Welsh Government from Westminster in March 2012 but with a 10 per cent cut in the funding. The Labour Welsh Government had initially refused to step in and make up the £23million shortfall, leaving almost 330,000 Welsh households in a position of having to pay more council tax.

Former Carmarthenshire Assembly Member Rhodri Glyn Thomas went on to win ITV's 'Campaigner of the Year' Award after a 9-month-long campaign to force the Labour government into a u-turn in order to protect recipients. His work led to Assembly Members being recalled to the Senedd over the Christmas recess to pass urgent legislation bringing in what is now known as the Council Tax Reduction Scheme.

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Mr Thomas's successor, Adam Price AM, has today welcomed the extention announced by the Welsh Government, stating that the work of Plaid Cymru representatives continues to have a lasting and positive effect on recipients four years later.

Mr Price went on to say it was time the Welsh Government brought forward longer term arrangements for a "bold and radical" reform of the council tax system.

Assembly Member Adam Price said:

"Four years after Plaid Cymru's Rhodri Glyn Thomas stopped the Labour Government from meekly passing on Tory cuts to council tax benefit recipients his campaign continues to have a lasting and positive effect.

"I welcome the decision of the Welsh Government to extend the reduction scheme support for a further year. This will be particularly welcomed by the tens of thousands of households which rely on such support.

"That said, it is time the Welsh Government brings forward proposals to reform the council tax system once and for all. Recipients and indeed local authorities responsible for collecting the monies should not be in a position every twelve months where they are waiting to hear if support will come.

"It's time for a bold and radical reform of what is the most regressive tax on these islands, a legacy of the Thatcher period, the grossly unfair tax that levies almost four times as much as a proportion of wealth on the poorest as the richest."

ENDS


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