Council tax is widely hated, and no wonder.
Council tax is simply unfair. It’s not based on your ability to pay but on the notional value of your home (very notional given the boom and bust of house prices). So if your income changes (because you lose your job), your council tax doesn’t necessarily go down.
Pensioners and others on fixed incomes are particularly hard hit. And if, like many Islington residents you are a tenant, taxing you on the value of an asset that someone else owns is just bizarre.
Lib Dems have long called for the unfair council tax to be scrapped. The Labour government’s done nothing about it.
Islington Lib Dems have kept their pledge to keep Islington’s council tax below the London average. And this year they’re proposing to freeze it.
It’s not clear yet exactly what the rival Labour group are proposing. But if they press ahead with their mooted idea of free school meals for all, it’s likely to mean a council tax rise for everyone.
Free school meals for those who need them is a great idea. I’d certainly advocate looking at pushing the eligibility in Islington. But I’m not convinced that it’s right to subsidise wealthy families’ lunches by taking pensioners’ council tax – let alone putting it up.