Poor Will Refuse to Pay Council Tax.
Eric Pickles: I want your Dole Money!
The Guardian covers this story today,
Local authorities have conceded that up to 84% of people on low incomes will refuse to pay council tax after being caught in the net by benefit changes this April, and admit there is little they can do about it.
Ministers have cut the support for means-tested council tax benefit by £500m, and told local authorities to decide where the axe should fall. The result is that 326 town halls in England have put forward “local” council tax schemes – with residents in neighbouring regions facing wildly different penalties.
Nationally the council tax benefit cuts will mean the poor face an average bill of £247 a year from April, a charge from which they are currently exempt.
But because the sums average less than £5 a week, councils are warning that it would “in many cases be uneconomic to recover, with the costs of collection, including legal recovery costs, being higher than the bill”.
The result is that councils are budgeting for large losses and potentially widespread non-payment. A series of freedom of information requests by False Economy, a campaigning group part-funded by trade unions, found more than 70 councils were resigned to seeing swaths of residents refusing to pay the tax.
Yes you read it correctly, we will have to find “an average” of £247 to fork out.
That’s from our JSA, already cut (not brought up to inflation levels).
Piggy Pickles, Eric Pickles the Minister for Grinding the Faces of the Poor, is on the way to being the most hated man in Britain.