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Last Updated: Wednesday, 25 February, 2004, 14:00 GMT
Hundreds ordered to pay tax
Tax protest
Protesters supported the tax rebels at Exeter Magistrates Court
More than 300 liability orders have been issued by Exeter magistrates to people who still owe council tax payments for the current financial year to the city council.

Two pensioners who are members of the campaigning Devon Pensioners Action Forum were among the few people who appeared in person.

Their non-payment followed last year's near 18% rise in council tax.

Both accepted that they were liable to pay but said they could not afford the entire amount because their pensions had not kept pace with the rise in council tax.

Exeter City council has defended the rise saying without it more services would have to be cut.

Tax discount

Retired social worker Sylvia Hardy, 71, appeared before Exeter magistrates on Wednesday for non-payment of 91.28 of the 644 charge on her two-bedroom flat in the city's Barrack Road.

She refused to pay the full bill because her pension rose by just 1.7%.

She gets a 25% discount on her council tax because she lives alone, but said: "I think it should be 50%."

Her Devon County Council occupational pension puts her just above the level for other benefits, such as a pension credit or grants.

She and retired insurance company area manager Bob Price, 58, of West Avenue, Exeter, were cheered as they left court by other members of the Devon Pensioners Action Forum, many of whom have pledged to go to prison rather than pay the tax.

Last week 83-year-old Elizabeth Winkfield from Westward Ho!, another forum member, made national news when she said after a court hearing she would rather go to jail than pay her council tax rise.

Pensioner 'is targeting Europe'
24 Feb 04  |  Devon
Councils 'heeding' tax warnings
22 Feb 04  |  Politics
Elizabeth Winkfield protests
22 Feb 04  |  Breakfast with Frost
Tax rebel may avoid jail
20 Feb 04  |  Devon
Rebel pensioner fights on
19 Feb 04  |  Devon
South West: A bill too far
20 Feb 04  |  Politics Show

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