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Council Tax cuts

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Wednesday 6 February 2013 9.56pm
Council tax in Southwark has been frozen, so those in work don't have to pay any extra. those like myself who receive council tax benefit at the moment, because of out low income, are going to have to find 15% of our council tax to pay. So no, not everyone is having to pay more, just the poorest of us.
Wednesday 6 February 2013 9.56pm
Russell, thank you for the figures. 2.8m- Southwark has maybe 250.000 people, that's 11 per year per person needed above current rates. Assuming 2-4 people per household and 1/3 of Southwark at previously exempt (or is that too low?) would be something like 35-70 per household more a year- I would gladly pay this much extra had it been voted on rather than squeeze it out of people who truly cannot pay.

Drog, many people who were previously CT exempt do work, but are poor. Those who do not work live on unemployment benefit calculated to be just enough to live on- how come all of a sudden they are supposed to have spare cash. Also, what extra taxes do people who work on a good enough income (ie do not qualify for CT exemption) have to pay now? I have not been hit so far and I do pay taxes and am not in receipt of any benefits?
Wednesday 6 February 2013 10.57pm
You are right of course, Auntie Pat, it does not hit people across the board, it hits only the poorest.
Wednesday 6 February 2013 11.48pm
i'll be writing about this tomorrow/friday hopefully, but, acc to council tax support website, in southwark, people who work but used to get council tax benefit will be paying less than people who don't work/have a disability.
Thursday 7 February 2013 12.44am
Really? Are benefits not based on need? What does employment status have to do with need?
Thursday 7 February 2013 8.41am
drog wrote:
Russell Cronin what planet are you on? We ALL are being asked to pay more wh.y should be people on benefits be exempt from the current situation ?
Hello,

I'm not very experienced on this forum, but I've noticed your confrontational style. No doubt it wins you numerous admirers.

As I stated in my letter to Mr Whitfield, people on benefits can't afford to pay counncil tax, which is why they are on benefits.

The policy of pursuing people who can't pay for trivial amounts isn't morally justifiable, it's not pragmatic and is counter-productive because it will cost more to enforce than it raises.

What I find most objectionable, however, is that this policy is being imposed upon the poor by some of the highest-paid public officials in the country.
Thursday 7 February 2013 8.48am
[quote Katia]Russell, thank you for the figures. 2.8m- Southwark has maybe 250.000 people, that's 11 per year per person needed above current rates. Assuming 2-4 people per household and 1/3 of Southwark at previously exempt (or is that too low?) would be something like 35-70 per household more a year- I would gladly pay this much extra had it been voted on rather than squeeze it out of people who truly cannot pay.

Katia you are lucky you could afford to pay more-many people I know are literally living hand to mouth on fairly low incomes and wages have not keep in line with price rises so most people who pay may not be having a real increase in thier council tax as frozen but are still struggling to pay it out of lower disposable incomes. Other councils have made savings and hit people with second homes etc this should i beleive be the route Southwark should go in rather than asking anyone to pay more
Thursday 7 February 2013 10.45am
Russell Cronin wrote:
...
Indeed, it is inevitable that those who can't pay won't pay. As Patrick Wintour, political editor of The Guardian, noted on 3 January, 'this raises the prospect of some councils needing to pursue non-payers through the courts to recover bills that may be as little as 2 a week.' He quotes Peter Kenway, director of the New Policy Institute, saying: "Come April we will have the grotesque spectacle of councils without a penny to spare pursuing citizens without a penny to spare through the courts for a tax that until now they have been deemed too poor to pay."

Gavin Kelly, chief executive of the Resolution Foundation, reiterated this when he told Huffington Post: "The new system will result in hard-pressed councils spending scarce resources chasing some of the poorest people in the country for non-payment."
...

just so there is no doubt, council can STEAL council tax from your benefit. you are 'consulted' but there is NO appeal.

see www.dwp.gov.uk/docs/tpp-new-creditor-guide.pdf

you have been warned ...
Thursday 7 February 2013 11.11am
@kellandj - that's extremely helpful - there appear to be a few points which would need further definition/clarification - ex the evidence that the creditor has tried everything else before - is there an amount of time which 'everything else' would take? (say, in theory, you could get 5 letters in a single week, all escalating from one to the next, then on day 6 dwp starts reducing your benefits automatically?) - also, this document is from 2009 and there may be an updated one + of course the council's own guidances and 'procedures' (not that i trust those much!)
would you be able to do some online digging?
thanks
Thursday 7 February 2013 2.55pm
pros wrote:
i'll be writing about this tomorrow/friday hopefully, but, acc to council tax support website, in southwark, people who work but used to get council tax benefit will be paying less than people who don't work/have a disability.
I'm in the process of drafting another letter, to Eleanor Kelly, Southwark CEO:
'...We will do all that we can to protect our frontline services and support our most vulnerable residents'. For six weeks last Summer, I received three visits a day from care givers. I call them The African Ladies, because all those I met were ladies from Africa except one, who was an African man. (So, too, were nearly all the District Nurses.) These are the people who deliver 'frontline services' in Southwark and they are among the worst-paid people in our society.

Never mind the London living wage, the African Ladies barely break minimum. They spend their days making visits of 30-45 minutes, rarely as long as an hour, but they are not paid for travel time between visits and don't get a transport allowance. Consequently, many carers are so poorly paid that they qualify for Council Tax Benefit. In fact, from week-to-week, they often have to calculate whether it's financially worth their while to take on a new client and work more hours, thereby losing benefit. In fact, the provision of care at home for Southwark residents depends upon the goodwill of the African Ladies and these are precisely the kind of poorly-paid people that will suffer most from your divisive and inhumane policy.'
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