Saturday, August 04, 2012

Changes to Your Council Tax

I almost missed this. I knew there were changes to Council Tax Benefits and thought, quite wrongly, that it would only affect those claiming the benefit. But it could, potentially, affect everybody who pays Council Tax and uses council services. Here’s the deal trick.

Back in 2010 the Government announced it was replacing Council Tax Benefit with a localised support system administered by Local Authorities from April 2013. What has only just become clear to me is that the Grant provided by Government to cover the cost of this benefit is to be based on the previous year’s spend LESS 10%. So, basically the government is asking forcing councils to do what they were doing with less money, that is shifting the burden of austerity onto the suckers in the Town Hall so they get the blame. Welcome to Localism ConDem style.

In Redbridge for 2011/12 the spend was £23million, so our cash strapped councillors are faced with another £2.3million shortfall and have to decide who or what will take the hit. In a nutshell, the choices are:
  • reduce financial support for those on low income, or
  • increase Council Tax for everyone, or
  • cut services by reducing spending, or
  • a combination of the above. 
So, either the poor take the hit or the rest of us end up paying more for the same or the same for less. Unless, of course, you are rich and have taken advantage of the generous tax discounts loopholes provided by successive Chancellors of the Exchequer and have a stake in the £trillions that have been sucked out of our economy and stashed in a Tax Haven like the Cayman Islands.

You can have your say and vote here on the award winning Redbridge-i. The closing date is 26th August 2012.

2 comments:

  1. You have summed this up very well. Whatever happened to compassionate Conservatism, a phrase that I believe was in use quite recently?

    Isn't it strange that Councils can be forced to increase Council Tax to avoid clobbering the poor (and yes they will be hit by cuts in CT benefit) but Councils like Redbridge cannot increase Council tax to pay for , say, a much needed new swimming pool? This is the Government's unique version of localism!

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    1. The twisted mind of David Camerclown. He's just about to go on holiday. With luck his daughter will leave him there!

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