Westminster Council is to request a voluntary tax from its richest residents in order to fund local projects for rough sleepers, young people and the lonely.
A survey of residents in high council tax bands has shown they are willing, and some had actually been asking to do so. In Lewes we do not have the same extremes of wealth and poverty, but 20% of families with children are officially described as living in poverty, we have three food banks and a rise in street homeless. Much of this is driven by the high cost of housing, meaning that there is huge housing need, with parents in despair that their adult children cannot afford to live in Lewes.
The level of unmet need in our town is unacceptable, and it is time to take serious action. A voluntary tax is a temporary solution: much more reform is needed – but people are suffering now and others want to help.
What is the potential for a voluntary tax in this area? Who would support it? Let’s find out.