Lilley criticises charges for local public services

- Monday, 22nd July 2002


Peter Lilley, MP for Hitchin and Harpenden, today criticised plans to
introduce new ?stealth tax? charges for domestic rubbish collection. A
Downing Street report is to recommend that households be charged up to ?1
per sack of rubbish collected or ?5 a month, on top of council tax.

Peter Lilley said:

"We know that Labour have already turned the council tax into a stealth tax
- across the country, it has risen by three times the rate of inflation
every year since 1997. Now Tony Blair?s officials are planning a new stealth
tax, by charging for an existing local service.

"Yet a new tax on rubbish collection will not help the environment - it will
add to the explosion in abandoned cars, fridges, fly-tipping and litter. It
will also be unfair - the vulnerable and those on low incomes across
Hertfordshire will be hurt the most by such a tax. At ?60 per year it will
add around 50% to the District contribution to the average Council tax bill.

"This comes on top of the announcement last week that households and small
businesses will be charged ?14 a week to receive less than 20 letters a day
before 9am. This extra charge for an existing service would represent a
significant additional cost to small firms and flies in the face of previous
assurances that have been given by the Government. Public services aren?t
improving but taxes are rising. Hertfordshire?s residents deserve better."



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