The Senedd has rejected calls to press ahead with “long overdue” reforms to council tax before the next election despite an “overwhelming” moral case for change.

Peredur Owen Griffiths, Plaid Cymru’s shadow local government secretary, warned council tax imposes a disproportionate burden on poorer households.

He tabled an amendment to the local government finance bill, which would have placed a duty on the Welsh Government to stick to implementing reforms by April 2025.

In mid-May, the Welsh Government pushed back plans – which were jointly agreed with Plaid Cymru – to redesign council tax with the aim of making it fairer until 2028.

Plaid Cymru pulled out of the broad cooperation agreement two days later due to the delay coupled with concerns about donations to Vaughan Gething’s leadership race warchest.

During a debate on 9 July, Mr Owen Griffiths urged fellow Senedd members to back his amendment to ease pressure on some of the poorest households in Wales.

He said: “Reflect on the real-world implications of kicking this reform into the long grass, especially for lower income families who are continuing to struggle to make ends meet.”

He warned the delay would condemn those with the least to three years of disproportionately high council tax bills while those with the broadest shoulders do not pay their fair share.

Mr Owen Griffiths told the Senedd: “The moral case for implementing this change is overwhelming and, given the continued financial pressure facing households across the length and breadth of our nation, now is the time to strike whilst the iron's hot.”

Rebecca Evans, for the Welsh Government, described the Plaid Cymru amendment as “too broad to constitute workable or clear law”.

The finance secretary reiterated that a consultation found a clear appetite for a council tax shake-up but over a slower time frame.

Ms Evans said it is no longer feasible to deliver reforms by 2025, adding: “We're listening to the people of Wales by moving forwards with council tax revaluation and reform in 2028.”

She stressed ministers remain committed to reforming council tax, with the first revaluation of Wales’ 1.5 million homes since 2003 scheduled for 2028 and every five years following.

She told the chamber the local government finance bill will underpin delivery of the proposals developed with Plaid Cymru’s Cefin Campbell as part of the cooperation agreement.

Senedd members voted 12 to 37 against Mr Owen Griffiths’ amendment.