Are low income families in Luton paying the price for airport expansion?

Luton Borough Council is pleading poverty to the poor and needy while at the same time it has agreed to directly spend around £100 million on funding a dual carriageway into Wigmore Park to feed traffic to a proposed second terminal.  But at the same time it’s lending London Luton Airport Ltd £225 million to build a rail link, and racking up yet more big bills to finance the planning for the airport expansion.

Luton Borough Council (LBC) claims it wants to reduce poverty in a Consultation document, reviewing the distribution of the Council Tax Reduction scheme.  In this Consultation paper LBC reveals that 10,750 low income families get a Council Tax Reduction in Luton, but many of those families will have members working at the airport on minimum wage rates.  However this is at the same time as LBC continues to promote low paid zero hour and part time work at this airport, by not insisting that all workers are paid a living wage; for if wages are kept low – airlines can be offered bigger discounts.

However now with a Council Tax Reduction Fund of only £1 million the council is consulting on “significant increases” on what the majority of these low income families will have to pay in Council Tax.  But at yet the same time it carries with its spending spree in expanding Luton airport.

The question has to be asked — are the lowest income families in Luton paying the price for airport expansion, when they get less than 0.3% of the funds the Council is throwing at expanding Luton airport.

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