Labour last night pledged to axe a council tax discount for “well-off” pensioners in Southampton to avert proposed hikes in the cost of care and services for the disabled.And how do they plan to identify ‘well off’ pensioners?
Of course, it doesn’t really matter, since they haven’t got a hope in hell of getting in to implement it.
Opposition councillors urged ruling Tories to scrap the ten per cent discount, worth £1m, as Conservative council leaders agreed budget plans to axe 200 jobs to help save £14m.It fell on deaf ears, as you might expect.
Labour, which aims to seize power at the Civic Centre in May elections, warned that proposed Tory cuts will fall disproportionately on the elderly and vulnerable.So, taking away a rebate for those same ‘elderly’ (unless it was means tested) wouldn’t help, would it?
Group leader Councillor Richard Williams said: “In tough times like these, the better off should shoulder more of the challenges, not those with the least. That’s why we want to reallocate the £1m rich pensioners’ council tax discount to services that help many more elderly and vulnerable people.”It’s just sound bites, isn’t it? You’ve no idea how many are actually ‘rich’ and it’d cost far more to identify them and administer this cut than you’d save.
And just what would you spend any savings on anyway?
Labour would also save the Mount Pleasant community language service, protect the street-cleaning budget and overturn a £90,000 cut in support to people suffering domestic violence, Cllr Williams said.Great! I’m sure Great Auntie Doris will happily forgo her council tax rebate knowing it’s going to immigrants, the underclass and services that the council should never be cutting in the first place.
And I’m sure she’ll vote for you as a result.