Ipswich Unemployed Action.

Campaigning for Unemployed Rights.

New Poll Tax for the Working Poor and Unemployed as Council Tax Blow Approaches.

with 20 comments

Tories and Liberals Introduce New Poll Tax: Will We Fight Back?

A little later than Ipswich Unemployed Action (our first major post on this was in September last year) , the BBC reports today on the new Poll Tax,

Millions of the poorest households face council tax rises because most councils in England will pass on a 10% benefit funding cut, research suggests.

A typical bill will rise from April by between £100 and £250 a year, but some could rise as much as £600, the Resolution Foundation think tank says.

And,

Millions of England’s poorest households, both in and out of work, are already very close to the edge,” said Gavin Kelly of the Resolution Foundation. “They are going to find it very hard to cope.”

Some campaigners have likened the change to the “poll tax“, in that people are asked for a contribution regardless of their ability to pay.

‘Low priority’

The Labour Party says the policy is deeply unfair, and will cause havoc with hundreds of thousands of people unable to pay the bills.

Many in local government fear that councils will be left with a financial black hole, as the cost of pursuing those who do not pay through the courts could be higher than the revenue the authorities will raise from them in tax.

The Resolution Foundation says,

Low-income families will see their council tax bills rise by up to £600 a year from April.

As a result of council tax benefit reform, No Clear Benefit shows that three-quarters of local authorities are set to demand increased payments from the 3.2 million poorest working-age households who currently pay either no council tax or a reduced charge. Families are facing a hike of more than 330 per cent in the most severe cases.

It comes as the government hands responsibility for council tax support to England’s 326 local authorities, along with a 10 per cent cut in funding for it. The government has insisted that pensioners are fully protected from any rise under the new localised system, known as council tax support, meaning that working-age households will bear the full brunt of the changes.

This is an addition to the new ‘bedroom tax’ which will hit those on Housing Benefit.

Guardian columnist   says (here),

Anger about the distressing impact of coalition austerity is gaining expression, focus and pace in the UK. There have been some marches, but NHS and welfare cuts were not met with mobs surrounding Downing Street brandishing pitchforks and flaming torches. I suspect the catalyst for mass protest might be the so-called “bedroom tax“.

Do you remember the poll tax? It was a turning point in public anger at Thatcher’s Tories. The hated community charge forced the unemployed to pay a contribution, and was based on the electoral register, but met with boycotts and riots. Resistance was so strong that it turned even Margaret Thatcher’s mindset: the poll tax was replaced by the current council tax.

The bedroom tax bomb hits in April, and tenants in social housing with so-called “spare rooms” are living in fear. Despite the fact that a three-bedroom housing association flat can be cheaper than a one-bed in the private sector, the architect of this fresh misery, welfare minister, Lord Freud – who lives with his wife in an eight-bedroom country mansion – decided tenants must move, or have money deducted from their housing benefit. One-bedroom flats are rare in the social sector, and claimants, especially those with children, never top a private landlord’s wishlist.

And there is the  effective cut in benefits,

“Key benefits, including jobseekers’ allowance, will rise by just 1% for the next three years, meaning a reduction in real terms.”

Let’s have a new Anti-Poll Tax Movement!

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20 Responses

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  1. Perhaps mobs brandishing pitchforks and flaming torches should turn up at Lord Feud’s mansion.

    Anton

    January 31, 2013 at 12:19 pm

    • Careful, we got banned from the YMCA for saying things like that on this Blog!

      Andrew Coates

      January 31, 2013 at 12:22 pm

  2. Meanwhile, fake charity scams are booming.

    “The Times today revealed that the Cup Trust had enabled its donors to avoid a total of £46m in tax through gift aid incentives.

    The newspaper’s investigation found that the Trust used an offshore bank loan to buy £1m gilts, which it then sold to investors (who had paid a fee to join the scheme) for a nominal fee. The Trust then donated about £500 to charity on the investors behalf and the investor would sell the gilts and “donate” the money to the Cup Trust. This allowed them to claim between £250,000 and £375,000 (depending on whether he/she pays tax at 40 per cent or 50 per cent) in gift aid relief. Meanwhile the Cup Trust uses the donation to repay the loan.

    The Cup Trust was set up in 2009 and raised £176m from donations during its first two years but has distributed just £55,000 to charity. On documents filed with the Commission the charity states that it awards grants to small start-up children’s charities and that most grants are “unsolicited”….. ”

    http://www.civilsociety.co.uk/governance/news/content/14338/charity_tax-avoidance_scheme_did_not_break_any_charity_laws

    Anton

    January 31, 2013 at 1:29 pm

  3. Lord Freud – or Lord Fraud as I like to call him – has got to be one of the most creepiest characters around. His fake, sinister “smile” (actually a smirk) whenever he’s being interviewed is sickening. His response to being asked by a Radio 5 presenter what tenants are supposed to do when the injust bedroom tax is introduced was to take in a lodger/s or move out. When challenged by a mother who would be forced to give up her three-bedroomed home to “downsize” into a one-bedroomed flat and whose two sons lived with her but are currently out in the forces in Afghanistan and needed somewhere to stay when back home in the UK was – get them camp beds for when they’re on leave!

    Nice to know the ruling class thinks so highly of our squaddies being maimed and killed in capitalism’s pointless wars.

    Trevor

    January 31, 2013 at 1:40 pm

  4. Anyone on benefits should be exempt from this as we just can’t afford it, what’s this stupid government gonna come up with next? Oh and Lord Fraud needs a good kicking!

    Obi Wan Kenobi

    February 1, 2013 at 3:18 pm

    • Many people will not pay it.

      This won’t be a Won’t Pay, it will be a Can’t Pay.

      Andrew Coates

      February 1, 2013 at 3:56 pm

      • As I commented this morning (said comment seems to have “disappeared” lol), if one does not pay one’s council tax, the council has the power to get the jobcentre to deduct it in instalments from one’s JSA.

        Lumpenproletarian

        February 1, 2013 at 7:51 pm

  5. They know they only have a couple of more years in power, if they’re lucky.
    That’s why they’re having a feeding frenzy of cuts before they get thrown out.

    Its almost as if the depression was engineered so they had a good excuse to implement all the cuts.

    frank begbie

    February 1, 2013 at 4:59 pm

    • There is a theory that is exactly what they’re doing: smashing as much of the welfare state as they can get away with, giving away as much of the public services to their private friends, all on the excuse that austerity is needed.

      Andrew Coates

      February 1, 2013 at 5:03 pm

      • “Austerity” is a myth The financial markets are soaring! The rich are coining it in!. You are being LIED to!

        FTSE

        February 4, 2013 at 6:15 am

  6. Yes, their greedy days are numbered.

    I’ve just come across this text which explains it all:

    “he that oppresseth the poor to increase his riches, and he that giveth to the rich, shall surely come to want”

    Is the quote from Shakespeare? No, it’s from The Bible, in Proverbs chapter 22, verse 16 – and even the most hardened atheist or hard-bitten socialist would find it difficult to ignore how accurately that text describes what is happening today as the welfare state is privatised with vast sums of taxpayers money being diverted into the pockets of greedy private businesses!

    And don’t forget that other saying about the love of money being the root of all evil – yes, that one is in The Bible too!!

    Tobanem

    February 1, 2013 at 5:42 pm

  7. Short of a vote of no confidence we can’t vote to get rid of this bloody Coalition government until:

    7th May 2015 – Polling Stations open at 7:00am

    Let’s get it right this time.

    Obi Wan Kenobi

    February 1, 2013 at 6:30 pm

  8. Lumpenproletarian :
    As I commented this morning (said comment seems to have “disappeared” lol), if one does not pay one’s council tax, the council has the power to get the jobcentre to deduct it in instalments from one’s JSA.

    so that’ll be more people setting fire to themselves outside of jobcentres then

    Ghost Whistler

    February 2, 2013 at 3:41 pm

    • If your a tenent in privae accomodation (i.e. bedsit) it won’t affect you, even if your working because it’s the landlords responsibilty to sort your council tax out – that’s already included in your rent:

      Result:

      No change.

      If you live in anything regarded as a full floor flat, with all it’s own facilitys (i.e. bathroom, Toilet, kitchen, hallway, seperate
      bedroom) you will be liable for the crappy council tax:

      Result:

      Goodbye benefits! – adio’s amigo’s

      Obi Wan Kenobi

      February 2, 2013 at 5:44 pm

  9. Unless you live within the City of Harrogate – their council is absorbing all of the cost of this perverse increase on the destitute.

    Harrogate:

    I’ve been there – normal costs to quite expensive – depending where you go – but no bollocks – it would work for anyone who is a decent citizen – no joke!

    Obi Wan Kenobi

    February 2, 2013 at 5:52 pm

  10. If your flat has too many rooms you’ll get the bedroom tax!

    Johnny

    February 3, 2013 at 12:40 pm

  11. The Tories know they’ll be turfed out so they are doing as much damage as possible, acting much like a soon to be evicted squatter.

    Thomas

    February 3, 2013 at 5:46 pm

  12. This is coming as a major shock to people,the council locally claims to be sending letters’,however mine has not arrived.letters sent late give no time to counter and bill fall in the next few weeks.letters that have been supposed to be sent have been in cases confusing and badly worded,potentially causing a great deal of distress.

    this going to cause chaos and confusion.also not all disabled people may claim disability benefits and the the council’ “policy” is to count those disabled to do so, as entitled to a discount here half at approx £14,however the equality act does not discriminate between disability.someone only needs to be more than minorly or trivially affected to be covered.

    Potentially large numbers of people have the prospect of being put before the magistrates over this stupid scheme labled as reduction.

    here at least the council seems a little unsettled at the prospect.

    ken

    February 20, 2013 at 3:54 pm

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