Sir – What a way to react to the credit crunch! While local people and local businesses are feeling the pinch, Labour in Oxford decide it’s time to hit them with higher taxes. In the first hit, as hard working people struggle with their bills, they want to raise council tax by a full five per cent next year and every year after. In the second hit, as retail suffers from the downturn, they want to increase car parking charges by 15 per cent. Labour seem not to realise that a council should be helping local people and local businesses out of recession, not kicking them while they are down.

Everyone knows that Oxford’s council tax is one of the highest in the country. And everyone knows that that tax is regressive and unfair and hits the most vulnerable in our society the most.

The sooner this unfair tax is replaced with a system related to people’s ability to pay the better for us all.

If we can’t axe the tax, let’s do what we can to help people and businesses in these hard times, rather than adding to the troubles.

Labour in Oxford needs to wake up to what’s happening around them.

Stephen Brown, Carfax ward councillor and deputy leader of Lib Dem group