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Last Updated: Wednesday, 25 February, 2004, 08:38 GMT
Vicar set to withhold tax money
Rev Michael Taylor
Rev Taylor says he is withholding his council tax increase
A vicar is refusing to pay the increase in his council tax as part of a growing tax protest.

The Reverend Michael Taylor, a retired vicar from Hinckley, Leicestershire says he will maintain his payment at last year's rate.

He will give any increase in tax above the rate of inflation to charity.

The vicar is joining a protest against the rising charges at the headquarters of Leicestershire County Council on Wednesday.

Charity account

"We have an unjust and immoral tax system and something has to be done about it," Mr Taylor said.

"The gap between the rich and the poor is getting larger and larger - and we need to stop it."

Leicestershire County Council is proposing a rise of 9% in this year's rates.

Mr Taylor says he and his wife are withholding the difference between last year's rate and this year's rate - and will put the money into a special account for charity.

His action follows the refusal of Elizabeth Winkfield, an 83-year-old from Devon who is facing legal action after withholding some of her payments.

'Fair' tax

Pauline Cuttress, secretary of the Hinckley and Bosworth Pensioners Action Group, says the increase is not reasonable for a person who is only getting a 2.3% increase in their pension.

"We are upset about the level of support coming from the government.

"Our group has said that anybody who wants to withhold part of their tax - we will support them in their stance."

The protestors are calling for a fairer system of local taxation and arguing it should be linked to levels of income.

Representatives from Hinckley and Bosworth Pensioners Action Group, Stoke Golding Good Companions and Leicestershire Pensioners Rights are planning to protest outside County Hall in Glenfield.


SEE ALSO:
Pensioners push for tax review
23 Feb 04  |  Scotland
Tax rebel may avoid jail
20 Feb 04  |  Devon


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