A Plaid Cymru MS has called for a fairer system for lower income households in a proposed reform of council tax.
Peredur Owen Griffiths MS made the calls of the Labour Finance Minister as plans were to reform council tax in Wales – a commitment secured by the co-operation agreement signed with Plaid Cymru.
A number of proposals are on the table which range from a simple revaluation to a reform of the banding system to that would see those with the most expensive homes pay more.
Under the current system, people in a Band A home in Blaenau Gwent pay £1,212.13 a year in council tax whereas in Pembrokeshire or Caerphilly they would pay less than £940 .
Speaking in the Senedd, Peredur said: “Plaid Cymru has been clear for some time that council tax in its current form is a regressive and outdated system that disproportionately affects poorer households.
“Indeed, I've campaigned on structural unfairness of council tax in my region for many years, and I'm delighted that, thanks to the co-operation agreement with the Welsh Government, we will be delivering reform, which as today's report by the IFS correctly emphasises has been long overdue and is unambiguously a good idea.
“It will ensure a fairer distribution of tax burden and provide much-needed relief for households that are struggling with the ongoing cost-of-living crisis.”
“As we heard last week from a number of experts at the Welsh Government's tax conference, this is a crucial first step towards building a tax regime that better reflects the needs and circumstances of the people of Wales.
“In this respect, it is right that the potential options for redesigning the council tax system is now being put out to consultation, and I would encourage as many people as possible to provide their views.
“As the Minister has already stated, this is a cost-neutral reform. It is not designed to increase the revenue available and it is solely being shaped by a desire to create a more progressive system for funding vital local services.”
During his speech, Peredur asked the Finance Minister to ensure that any new system did not penalise asset-rich but cash-poor households which are particularly prevalent in the farming community.
He added: “I also welcome the commitment to continue to explore the potential for a local land value tax as a long-term ambition.
“While we are obviously very supportive of the measures in front of us, we firmly agree that this should be viewed as the start of a journey rather than the final destination, and we’ll continue to make the case for further reforms on top of this redesigned council tax system.”
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