A FLINTSHIRE politician has called for a radical reform of the council tax system after rates in the county were increased by almost nine per cent.

Cllr David Healey (Lab), who represents Caergwrle, was among those who voted in favour of a rise of 8.75 per cent this week.

However, he branded the council tax system as ‘evil’ and said the authority was left with little choice because of cuts to its funding by central government.

Cllr Healey now wants the Welsh Government to explore a fairer alternative and has put forward a motion urging them to take action.

He said: “The council tax bill is the most hated piece of paper to come through the door and this is completely understandable.

“There is now an inbuilt assumption that local authorities will increase it to pay for the budget shortfall passed down from Westminster.

“It is regressive and shifts the burden of payment from the rich to the poor.

“This motion urges Welsh Government to use newly devolved powers to review and change this hated and failed system.

“There has to be a more fair and progressive alternative.”

Under the current formula used to allocate money, the amount received by Flintshire Council is the 19th lowest out of the 22 local authorities in Wales.

It received a reduction of 0.3 per cent in Welsh Government funding this year, amounting to more than £500,000.

Most councillors backed adding an extra £103 a year to the bill for an average household on Tuesday to bridge a £3.1m budget gap.

However, an alternative motion which suggested using reserves to ease the burden was voted down after officers warned opposition leaders that it would add to budget pressures in future years.

Cllr Healey said councils in England and Wales had faced significant cuts since the financial crisis began in the late 2000s.

He said: “The Welsh Government’s budget has been cut by £850m in real terms in the last decade.

“We do have issues about how the cake is shared as far as Flintshire goes.

“However there is also an issue about the total unfairness of the council tax system which does not take any account of the income coming into a household.”

The motion will be considered at a full council meeting on Thursday (28 February 2019).