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Council Tax cuts

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Sunday 3 February 2013 1.40pm
Floodplain wrote:
Could this thread widen its scope to other housing-related changes?
New Limits on Housing Benefit. (Have Southwark introduced these changes yet?)

Increases in Council House Rent. (What are the increases?)

Introduction of Council Tax contributions for those eligible for Council Tax Benefit.

There's no limit on the number of topics, Floodplain. there's no need to widen the scope of this one; you could start a new one.

Since it's of interest to you and you're obviously not work shy, you could even do a bit of research from publicly available sources and then come to the forum with some figures to discuss.
Sunday 3 February 2013 7.40pm
'Obviously not workshy' - Rambling Phil - what do you mean by this? Are you criticising me for working? If you are against working, how do you put food on the table?
Sunday 3 February 2013 7.53pm
I think you need to get over yourself, mate.
Sunday 3 February 2013 9.37pm
Floodplain wrote:
'Obviously not workshy' - Rambling Phil - what do you mean by this? Are you criticising me for working? If you are against working, how do you put food on the table?

Hey, that's a bit touchy, Floodplain.

In your previous posts, you value people who are currently working, contrasting them favourably with those currently not working (eg Sunday 20 January 2013 11.12am). From them, I conclude that you work and are proud that you do (nb - slightly off the thread's topic but relevant to this, can I recommend this essay by William Morris).

Your comments on this site are often interesting and researched, but you came to this thread with questions that I read as having an agenda (particularly in the context of your previous posts on social housing and the social make-up of the neighbourhood). If I was wrong in that, that's why. Was I wrong?

My affairs are none of your business but I will tell you how I put food on the table if you tell us what you do in your labours.
Sunday 3 February 2013 11.02pm
Do the new rules mean that Southwark Council demands 15% of the council tax from people previously not paying any? It is unlikely that people who were judged too poor to pay will suddenly find an extra 20 or whatever it is a month- how much are bailiffs? Will Southwark Council actually get any of the money they are trying to get? How many low-income households have to manage to pay to make up for the cost of hounding those that don't?
Sunday 3 February 2013 11.58pm
That's it Katia - SC propose to hound people asserted/assured and proven, as too poor to pay. Baliffs cost hundereds of pounds each day as do court costs etc ( i means spread over the thousands of people unable to pay) There is massive morality issues but in terms of finance which we presume is what they are commited to it= No sense at all.
Monday 4 February 2013 12.06am
Rambling Phil,

OK, I accept I over-reacted, so I should apologise for that. Generous of you to acknowledge that sometimes I have something interesting to offer the debate.

My agenda is just that I feel that there is something seriously wrong with how social housing is allocated and managed in Southwark. It desperately needs reform.

What I write here and in previous posts I feel passionately about - reading the responses; I feel almost as though I am touching on taboo subjects which should not be allowed to be discussed, or that I am challenging the socio-liberal status quo or consensus.

For example - Southwark Council Data shows that 65% of Council Tenants are not in work. Of course, a proportion of these will be retired or unable to work for various reasons such as children or disability. But then compare this inactivity rate to the current (23.01.13) London wide unemployment figure of 8.3%.

People who are fortunate to be in work are nonetheless struggling out there to make ends meet - there is a massive silent groundswell of resentment out there from UK taxpayers towards those who can work but don't work - especially if someone is sitting in a council flat in SE1 taking state benefits and not contributing to the high cost of running this society. Especially when a London office worker has to live miles away and commute 2 hours to get into the centre of town.

And when was the last time we saw a British person working as a security guard or cleaning a toilet? I just cannot believe that everyone who is unemployed is unable to find some type of work.

My point is that Council Housing was originally intended by the late 19th / early 20th century Bermondsey reformers (such as Alfred Salter) for local, working people - and this principle has been lost. Council housing is only available now to the very poorest in society, and that distorts the economy and society of the area.

We need a variety of people in the area, but we also need a healthier Balance within the Estates themselves between people in work and those not in work.

My second key point is that I strongly disagree with the widespread sentiment in the SE1 forum which is clearly against increasing the supply of new private housing in the area. This in my view is just not going to be sustainable long term, given SE1's central location. The Heygate must have been a pretty awful place to live - but all the residents have been re-housed - that's a very humane sysyem.

Obviously with more private housing then you are going to get more middle class people - - and I can see that this will not be wanted by a minority - but my question is this: if some comparatively wealthier people are not allowed to move into the area how is SE1 going to improve? These people might just might start sending their children to local schools, and this will improve the schools.

My final point is that we've had local politicians here from both Labour and Liberal parties who've relied for years on block votes from the Council Estates - and slowly we are going to see this being broken down as the supply of private housing increases.

At the moment I can see that SE1 is probably under more development pressure than ever before because the Labour administration have fewer Ward seats up here, and therefore they can take more politucal risks.
Monday 4 February 2013 12.15am
How big is Southwark Council's shortfall? When spread among everybody who currently pays council tax, how much would each of us pay? I believe the councils are not allowed to simply increase everybody's bill. I presume it is too expensive to have a referendum; I imagine most people would (maybe grudgingly) pay a bit more rather than squeeze it out of people who can't pay.
Monday 4 February 2013 12.30am
Katia wrote:
I imagine most people would (maybe grudgingly) pay a bit more rather than squeeze it out of people who can't pay.
I would.
Monday 4 February 2013 12.41am
So would I.
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