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‘Students should face paying council tax, Lib Dems say’ scream the Daily Telegraph. Slightly misleading…

It is all going off. The Lib Dems hate the students. They are ready to screw them over even more. The other political parties are ready to jump on the ‘Lib Dems hate the students’ bandwagon and the Lib Dems are up in arms. However shall we look in depth at the story before we cast judgement? Shall we…?

Lets.

The basis for the story is one single quote from the leader of Portsmouth City Council, ‘At the meeting, Gerald Vernon-Jackson, the leader of Liberal Democrat councillors and head of Portsmouth City Council said: “Local authorities should have greater discretion over Council Tax exemptions and discounts, such as the student exemption”’.

So because one Lib Dem says that he feels theat he (as leader of the council) should have more powers to determine who gets Council Tax exemptions and discounts it suddenly means according to the article that the Lib Dems want to change the whole system of no Council Tax for students. I’m not sure that is how it works. As a member of the Lib Dems should I say that I think council’s should have the right to decide to give free jaffa cakes for every person who pogo sticked into Boots to buy a meal deal but managed to resist the Hoi Sin Duck Wrap would that suddenly mean that it is Lib Dem Policy?

I’m not sure that is how it works.

However basing a whole story around this one quote is quite something but there is one sentence in the piece that I am totally in love with:

‘It is understood that the Conservatives are strongly opposed to ending the student exemption on council tax.’

So there we go. The Conservatives love the students and the Lib Dems hate them and want to publicly flog them in the streets.

Seriously give me freakin’ strength.

Please feel free to read the whole piece over at the Daily Telegraph but trust me. The whole story is a joke and shows either a) extreme bias or b) the ability to stretch a quote and spin it in a way that Peter Mandelson could only dream of.

Council Tax will not become part of student life. It quite simply isn’t going to happen.

I’d expect better from a political editor on a national newspaper but sadly these people have agendas. Not only do they have agendas but so do their employers and sadly that means the press will never be free and open.

Update:

Just in from a Lib Dem spokesman.

“These minutes are not an accurate representation of what was a much broader policy discussion.

“Gerald is not in favour of getting rid of the student exemption. He is in favour of proper localism, where councils have the power to decide what is right for them in their areas.

“Neither the Government nor the Liberal Democrats are in favour of ending the student exemption.”

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One Comment

  1. David Horner David Horner

    ‘At the meeting, Gerald Vernon-Jackson, the leader of Liberal Democrat councillors and head of Portsmouth City Council said: “Local authorities should have greater discretion over Council Tax exemptions and discounts, such as the student exemption”’.

    I’m afraid this is not true, at the meeting Gerald Vernon-Jackson concurred with Sir Merrick Cockell (Conservative Leader of Kensington and Chelsea Council)that “Local Authorities should have greater discretion over Council Tax exemptions and discounts, such as the student exemption.” I supect the “such as student exemtion” was used as an example by the minute taker at the meeting and may not have been said by any of the participants.
    The Telegraph also forgot to mention the Vernon-Johnson was apparently just agreeing to a atatement made by Cockrill the Tory leader of Kensington and Chelsea.

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