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Council Tax cuts

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Wednesday 20 February 2013 11.31pm
Floodplain wrote:
James Hatts, SE1 Editor:
James,

Thanks for your interactive map in the benefits news item.

In the interests of balanced and impartial reporting, sorry but you really should have given people at least some background as to why these reforms are being made by the Government, as opposed to simply outlining the 'cuts'.

It would be interesting also if you could produce a similar interactive SE1 map in order that long-suffering taxpayers such as myself can see what percentage of working age able-bodied Council Tenants are unemployed, what percentage receive council tax benefit and what percentage receive housing benefit.
You really should have sent this as a private message rather than post it on here and use the forum for your own political agenda.
Wednesday 20 February 2013 11.46pm
Floodplain:
The information was probably derived from work commissioned by the council's scrutiny committee.
I'm not sure the figures of unemployment, council tax, and housing benefit are available by ward.
This is a good start.
Maybe try a freedom of Information request to get the data, if it is collected.
accessinfo@southwark.gov.uk
Thursday 21 February 2013 12.57am
Yeah all, as I started this thread- it is my responsibilty to say- come on SE1 ers- I think it is clear there is injustice in these cuts and on a financial and political level it is non sensical- lets not take pops at each other or score points... but have a good natured, informative debate...whatever the views.
Thursday 21 February 2013 10.27am
I think Floodplain's implication is that 'the cuts' aren't nonsensical, but intended to alleviate the burden of supporting those who haven't hitherto paid council tax from those who do. So, s/he is contributing to the debate, albeit in a rather indirect way. The same point was made, more belligerently, by drog, who said, effectively, that we all must suffer.

In these assertions is the underlying idea that the 'long-suffering' (Floodplain's term) strivers in our society who earn and pay subsidise those of us who don't work - which is surely true - but also that a proportion of those on benefits are workshy and adept at working the system, which I suspect is also true.

However, workers demonising dole scroungers while the unemployed complain about 'banksters' avoiding income tax merely perpetuates the divisions between us. We need to be less doctrinaire. The government's agenda in reducing its subsidy of local councils is surely to make citizens more vigilant about the way the money - wherever it comes from - is spent.

Council tax is too high, in my opinion, and I'm surprised that Katia and others are willing to pay more.

Southwark is over-staffed with mediocrities who are overpaid and under-perform. I think that the first way in which Southwark should be looking to save money is by chopping out the dead wood and curbing the wages of those who earn over 100,000. That won't happen, as things stand, because the complaints procedure doesn't work and, even when gross incompetence is identified, Unison members are protected by their Union.

Some readers might interpret that as coming from a 'right wing' perspective and I have quoted figures collated by The Tax Payers Alliance, which is frequently dismissed in The Guardian as a 'right wing' pressure group. However, I've also had a good sneer at our supposedly 'Liberal' MP and am constantly critical of Southwark Council, which currently has a Labour majority. In fact, I see no fundamental difference between the major political parties, but would prefer to live in a more equal society in which public servants act in the public interest, rather than their own.
Thursday 21 February 2013 10.47am
Russell Cronin wrote:
The government's agenda in reducing its subsidy of local councils is surely to make citizens more vigilant about the way the money - wherever it comes from - is spent.

That's extremely generous! I personally think it's just an easy way for them to implement cuts in a way that at least shares the political blame with the parties who run councils. Together with the bribe for councils to freeze council tax so that they can run with that achievement in the next General Election I could hardly be more cynical about central government's attitude towards local government finances.
Thursday 21 February 2013 12.30pm
I think the main point for me is still southwark had a choice whether to make people on benefits pay or to find the moneey some other way e.g. as mentioned on here by increasing rates on second homes-other councils have made this choice so people on low incomes will not be hit as hard.

Interestingly i asked people in my office what they thought of making people pay towards the council tax and the majority of people were in favour-there seems to be a feeling that the normal working person has seen wages stagnate and costs go up and are really a lot worse off and cannot afford to pay more. I am not sure how indicative my office is with the rest of the country but if this is the general view you are not going to get widespread opposition or protest against these changes.
Thursday 21 February 2013 1.26pm
dee dee wrote:
I think the main point for me is still southwark had a choice

They certainly did. But it was a politically tough choice. If I had to determine blame it would be about 70% the Tory / Lib Dem national government and 30% the Labour council administration.

Of course others would have very different views! And others still would think it was a case of determining credit rather than blame ;)
Thursday 21 February 2013 1.31pm
Kory - firstly I dont know how your job search is going but I have worked voluntary with SE1 groups in the past on assisting unemployed people with their CVs to much success for them (including long term unemployed and homeless) - I do everyone I know CVs as well, and I am pretty proud of the results! I would be happy to look at yours for you and work on it if you want to PM me to discuss?

I agree with Russell C. I dont know how Southwark are working out CT. I pay double what I did in my shared ownerhsip housing assoc flat in an area classed as deprived than I did in our flat in Devon mansions opp tower bridge which was worth 100k more!

I am starting to hate Southwark's greed immensely. WTF planet are they living on?

Also having problems working out what universal credit means to my brother who is learning disabled.
Thursday 21 February 2013 2.46pm
[quote Neil][quote dee dee]I think the main point for me is still southwark had a choice[/quote]

They certainly did. But it was a politically tough choice. If I had to determine blame it would be about 70% the Tory / Lib Dem national government and 30% the Labour council administration.

Sorry but other councils of all political parties have managed to not pass the burdon on to people on benefits - Southwark had the choice and as highlighted in this thread had choices and made it to pass the costs on. I don't think that central govt saying you can save 10% by administering something locally rather than centrally should be that difficult and other have done it-i blame Southwark totally.
Thursday 21 February 2013 3.55pm
dee dee wrote:
i blame Southwark totally.

I did say others would have very different views! ;)
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