Council tax support is due to change in April 2013, with 74% of local authorities expecting those on low income and benefits to contribute 20% to their council tax bill.
The problem with this system is that those on very low income or benefits will be contributing a disproportionate amount to the local authority.
This move means that society in general, and communities in particular, will be split further apart by financial divide. The poorer in society will be forced to move from areas with higher council tax rates.
In some cases, people who have lived in the same area all their lives will be forced to ship out and leave their lives behind them. Children will be ripped away from the security of family life to live in unknown areas, some at a time when they are just starting to get a foothold in the adult world.
Families who rely on local family members for support (for example, child minding while at work) will be saddled with additional financial burdens, such as childcare, and the cost of moving to unfamiliar areas and additional travel costs for work etc.
In effect, this will destabilise vast numbers of the population.
An example of the ridiculousness of this latest government balls-up is the effect this will have on the residents of the London borough of Haringey
- The council has decided to charge people on benefits 20% council tax. Its analysis shows that 73 individuals will have to pay between £41.43 and £158.01 a week out of their £71 weekly jobseeker’s allowance (JSA), due to the cumulative impact of the council tax and the overall benefit cap from April. Also 49 couples with two children will have to pay between £72.40 and £255.24 out of their JSA plus children’s benefits of £258 a week.
This is an impossible situation for those affected residents. They will have two choices, not pay it and face legal action, or leave the lives they have established for themselves and find cheaper areas to live in.
If the council had taken a different approach, and increased the amount of council tax for those who could afford to pay by a small amount each year, enough would be generated to make up the deficit in the authorities council tax funding.
The middle band for council tax is Band D. In the case of Haringey, this would have meant an annual increase of £45 per year (85p per week) for council tax payers in that band. Very different to the incredible (impossible) situation for those on low income or benefits.
The only conclusion that can be made about the Haringey decision (and the other councils around the country who are forcing the poor to pay 20% of their council tax bill) is that the main purpose is to get the poor out of the area.
Analysis of other councils shows the same disparity of payment.
The illogical move by councils will not fill the budget hole they face. People on low incomes and benefits will not be able to afford the council tax payments, and local authorities will end up having to pursue non-payers through the court system. This will bite into the local authority budget even more.
Many councils also see the illogical move by central government as ridiculous. The Local Government Authority told Channel 4 “[councils have] little choice but to reduce the council tax discount offered to people on low incomes [with authorities] concerned about the possible impact on collection rates and the knock-on effect it will have on council finances”.
The government claims that these measures are to “get people into work”, yet the excuse used previously was that they were part of the government’s “austerity measures”. They just can’t find a good excuse for their social engineering policy.
IF the reason was to get people into work, why are the council tax measures affecting people who are already in work in slave-wage jobs?
IF the reason is part of “austerity measures” why is the government wasting £50 to £100 BILLION a year (see our post: UK – Government will WASTE in excess of £50 billion of taxpayer’s money this year), or why are they spending £32 BILLION on a railway hardly anyone will use, or why are they spending around £4 MILLION A DAY on a so-called war?
No – we don’t believe any of their excuses.
This council tax debacle is nothing more than FASCIST social engineering, where the wealthy get wealthier at the expense of the poor getting poorer, and the poor being moved out of ‘desirable’ areas.
Thanks to the Rev Paul Nicolson of Taxpayers Against Poverty for the information on Haringey.