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Lib Dems Slam Council's Free Post Office Payments Delay

January 14, 2009 11:00 AM

Bedford Borough Liberal Democrats have slammed the Mayor and his Cabinet for delaying the reintroduction of free Council Tax Payments at the Post Office for twelve months. This comes in spite of the fact that they have performed a u-turn and accepted the case for the removal of the unfair, discredited charge on payments.

The Executive decided at its meeting last week to support 'in principle' the return of free payments at the Post Office, but not for the approaching 2009/10 financial year. Instead, the matter will be subject to a further report from Council officers in autumn 2009.

Commenting on the issue, Bedford Liberal Democrat Deputy Group Leader Councillor David Sawyer said: "Shame on Bedford Borough Council's Cabinet for delaying the reintroduction of free payment of council tax at the Post Office for another year. The claim that it has had to be delayed due to time constraints is very hard to swallow. Liberal Democrats have been highlighting the gross unfairness of the charge for Post Office payments since it came into force in 2006, and our proposal to remove it received widespread support at a public meeting on Post Offices organised by the Council in July last year.'

"It is unacceptable that even now that the Mayor and the Tory and Labour groups have performed a u-turn on the matter, post offices and the local taxpayers who use them will still be forced to suffer this discredited council tax surcharge for another year."