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Last Updated: Sunday, 22 February, 2004, 11:43 GMT
Elizabeth Winkfield protests
On 22 February 2004, Sir David Frost interviewed Elizabeth Winkfield, Council tax protestor

Please note "BBC Breakfast with Frost" must be credited if any part of this transcript is used.

Elizabeth Winkfield
Elizabeth Winkfield

DAVID FROST: Now, she's been called the council tax martyr, that's 83-year-old Elizabeth Winkfield who declared enough was enough last year when her council bill jumped by 18%, to more than 740 as her council tax.

She refused to pay the full amount and last week was taken to court by her local council. But she's not backing down and says she's ready to go to prison.

Well, I spoke to Elizabeth a short time ago at her home in Devon.

And I began by asking her whether she'd been surprised by the reaction, the great reaction to her case.

ELIZABETH WINKFIELD: More than surprised. I just couldn't believe it. I'm still ready to wake up from the dream about it.

DAVID FROST: And why are you taking this stance now, I mean, by how much has your council tax gone up?

ELIZABETH WINKFIELD: Nearly a fifth. 18% it's gone up. But this year's council tax has gone up on the years before and that's nearly one-fifth extra to pay, isn't it?

DAVID FROST: You've really become a national figure Elizabeth. Do you think that your campaign will now spread around the country?

ELIZABETH WINKFIELD: Probably. At least we're hoping, well I'm hoping anyway, that it will carry on. I never thought that it would get to this stage. I thought just a few local people would be at the court to see me, or maybe nobody. I've had so many cards, letters from people, telephone calls telling me that I'm a hero. And all I've done is just sat back and said I'm not paying, I'm not going to because it's not right.

DAVID FROST: But have you thought what prison might be like, I mean, have you ever been in one?

ELIZABETH WINKFIELD: No, not really. I've never been in one. I've just read about them or seen on television perhaps. So I never dreamt I'm likely to get anywhere near one. I've seen the outside of one or two perhaps. Just from the road. But if enough people rebel the courts will be filled with people, the prisons will be overfull, they won't have room for me there. They'll be full of other pensioners.

DAVID FROST: Well Elizabeth, thank you very much for talking to us and we'll be following your case.

ELIZABETH WINKFIELD: Thank you too for allowing me to have the opportunity to speak.


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