“Do they think people around here are stupid?”

That’s the comment made by local resident Mrs Joan Hislop, seen talking to Cllr John Salter in a photo taken earlier today..

Mrs Joan Hislop with Cllr John Salter today

Joan has been active for decades in our community, and in the local Seacombe and Liscard voluntary movement.   She knows our locality like the back of her hand.  And she knows, as well as anybody can, how our people feel about propaganda.

She told us she doesn’t like being offered ‘sweeeties’ like the bait the Tories and LibDems are dangling in the form of a tax rebate this year, only for it to pile up as a debt in future years or as cuts in the services the Council provides at a time when further huge cuts are going to be imposed by their National Collaboration Government.

Joan isn’t impressed and she doesn’t think many other people around here will be either.

Can it be election time?

Oh yes – and Tory-led Wirral Council claims to be ‘cutting tax for all’.  But are they?  Surely you have to be paying it in the first place to have a cut?

So what does that mean?  Here in Seacombe we have a high proportion of families on low incomes – arguably amongst the most income-deprived residents in Northern Europe.   The same will apply in other areas of Wirral like Birkenhead, Bidston, and parts of Liscard.

In contrast Wirral also has areas of high incomes – where Tory Councillors tend to be elected.  We suspect that not many of those in the Tory areas will qualify for relief on their Council Tax – but in parts of Seacombe it is the majority.  So when the better off in Tory areas may get refunds as great as £43.37 – or even as high as £52.05 – the areas of low incomes can expect as little as £17.35 for Band A Council Tax payers or as little as £26.02 for those in higher rated Band D households.

But because so many of the Seacombe families already have incomes so low that they qualify for Council Tax Relief what will they get?  Do the Tories mean they will be getting a refund even if they haven’t high enough incomes to be paying it in the first place?

But don’t take our word for it.  You can work it out for yourself very easily by checking the figures.  Here they are (taken from the ‘Wallasey News’).

The budget means that tax Band A will be £958.79, down from £976.14;

B – £1,118.57, was £1,138.82;

C – £1,278.39, was £1,301.51;

D – £1,438.18, was £1,464.20;

E – £1,757.78, was £1,789.58;

F – £2,077.37, was £2,114.96;

G– £2,396.97, was £2,440.34;

H– £2,876.35, was £2,928.40.

And when the Tories tell us that over 70s are going to get a bit more relief they conveniently forget to mention that there only half as many people over 70 in Seacombe compared with those who reach hearty old age in the more prosperous areas represented by Tory Councillors. 

Hmm … looks like the better off do well under the Tories doesn’t it?

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