Ipswich Unemployed Action.

Campaigning for Unemployed Rights.

Poor Will Refuse to Pay Council Tax.

with 27 comments

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.

 

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Written by Andrew Coates

February 28, 2013 at 4:45 pm

27 Responses

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  1. hope eric pickles ends up like mr creosote (python sketch)

    something survived...

    February 28, 2013 at 6:13 pm

  2. PCS Union Update:

    Department for Work and Pensions group
    Mandating to Universal Jobmatch: Update

    1 March 2013

    Members will be aware of the many issues and questions arising from the introduction of Universal Jobmatch (UJ) on 19th November 2012, not least the legislation around the mandatory requirement for claimants, security implications, and use of cookies.

    DWP/BB/07/13 provided members with an update on all of those issues. PCS officials met with the project team earlier this week in order to seek further clarity for our members who deliver the Front Line Adviser (FLA) service within Work Service Directorate (WSD).

    Announcement:

    The Secretary of State for DWP will make an announcement on 1st March 2013 that, with effect from 4th March 2013, FLAs can mandate claimants to register for UJ. This will be done via a Jobseeker Direction. Importantly, however, management have acknowledged that mandatory sign up to UJ will not be a blanket approach; instead, FLAs should encourage claimants to use UJ. Mandatory sign up will be on an individual basis, if the FLA feels that UJ would be beneficial to the claimant, and they have ‘unreasonably refused’. Management will be issuing guidance around this shortly.

    Cookies Legislation:

    Currently, EU cookie legislation prevents mandatory sign up requiring customers to use their home computers to register for, or use UJ. This is because the choice to accept cookies on your computer has to be made ‘freely’, under the EU legislation. This means that if an FLA seeks to mandate a claimant to register on UJ, they will need to look at alternative methods of doing so – Internet Access Device (IAD) within a jobcentre, use of computer in local library, etc. Management refer to this as their ‘tactical solution’. PCS have raised doubts that there are sufficient resources within Jobcentres to enable this to be a realistic workaround.

    However, the UJ project has indicated that they are seeking to make changes to the UJ site which will provide an option to remove the cookies from home computers. When these changes are made, FLAs will be able to mandate customers to sign up from home. This is what management are calling the ‘strategic’ solution, but they are unable to say when this ‘fix’ will be implemented.

    Access to UJ Account:

    If, and when, a claimant signs up to UJ, they will be encouraged to give DWP access to their account. However, it is absolutely clear from a legal perspective that the claimant does not have to tick the box to give DWP access to their account, and can provide alternative proof of UJ sign up and use, e.g. screenprints

    FLAs setting up UJ Accounts:

    It has been brought to the attention of PCS that some District Managers are encouraging FLAs to set up their own UJ account and then take claimants for a ‘walkthrough’ of the system. PCS has challenged the security aspect of this process and, as a result, management centrally, have issued clear instructions that this practice must stop. PCS has received assurances centrally that any advisor, following what they believed to be a ‘reasonable management request’, will face no disciplinary action as a result of their actions.

    Robustness of UJ Site:

    PCS has raised serious concerns around the robustness of the UJ site. The UJ site has already attracted widespread media attention due to a number of rogue job adverts that have appeared and security concerns. Management have stated that they have increased the number of checks on the site to prevent ‘bogus’ adverts appearing, but are unable to offer any cast-iron guarantees that vacancies of this type will not appear in the future. PCS has also challenged management around employers offering jobs with salaries/wages below the national minimum wage level. Again, management state that they are constantly monitoring any misuse of the system. Although they admit that there a number of fixes to the site still to be made, for example around the geographical searches, management insist that the site popular and well used.

    Summary:

    The view of PCS is that Universal Jobmatch is nothing more than a crude tool being used by DWP management to help deliver this government’s ‘scorched earth’ approach to the welfare reform agenda. Disgracefully, it is PCS members who are at the forefront of criticism from claimants and welfare groups alike when failings of the system are highlighted across the national media. FLAs should follow the guidance and use their own discretion when mandating claimants to sign up to UJ, and resist any local targets or blanket approaches at a local level.

    The working processes outlined within this circular are absolute and not subject to any “interpretation” by district managers. Any attempt to amend these processes under the banner of ‘Freedoms and Flexibilities’ should be escalated to the Group Office as a matter of urgency.

    Downloadable version: 027 Mandating to Universal Jobmatch Update

    http://www.pcs.org.uk/en/department_for_work_and_pensions_group/dwp-news.cfm/id/7CB27121-96CB-4363-944EBA40616465A4

    Obi Wan Kenobi

    March 1, 2013 at 5:28 pm

  3. So whats the point in joining UJM if we don’t have to give the DWP (Jobentres) access to the account? – what a waste of time and taxpayers money.

    Obi Wan Kenobi

    March 1, 2013 at 5:33 pm

    • Maybe because in future when all local and national govt services are online we will need a government gateway account to access. Ujm is part of that. We could be heading down the road where we’ll need gateway in everyday life. FSD = Full Spectrum Dominance ???

      Darth Vader

      March 1, 2013 at 6:02 pm

  4. Who ate all the democracy ?

    pauly

    March 1, 2013 at 6:03 pm

    • You Seen The Size Of Eric Pickels ?

      Darth Vader

      March 1, 2013 at 6:05 pm

  5. Tory Bedroom Tax is today challenged in a court of law as legal proceedings are launched.

    http://www.greenbenchesuk.com/2013/03/tory-bedroomtax-is-today-challenged-in.html

    Obi Wan Kenobi

    March 1, 2013 at 7:44 pm

  6. This is going to be a real problem for people on the minimum to live on.its an outrage that the council is seen to take money from the jobless under these circumstances.

    there’s a real prospect of people being put before the courts’ for liability order’s.money is likely to be taken direct from benefits if granted.theres going to be a lot more on this.

    ken

    March 2, 2013 at 10:05 am

    • The theory by Labour councillors is that Pickles wants to make people blame the Councils for his plan.

      For him that is a little cherry on top of the very large – Pickles Portion – cake.

      Andrew Coates

      March 2, 2013 at 12:24 pm

      • The basic attitude of this coalition government seems to be – unless it affects us directly or personally – don’t bother us with it – sort it out yourselves – were too busy living it up off your taxes!

        Obi Wan Kenobi

        March 2, 2013 at 2:08 pm

      • FAO Andrew Coates

        Yes, just like Mrs Thatcher did with the Poll Tax – the electorate would suddenly waken up and apparently bring high spending labour councils to heel by subsequently voting them out!

        By the way, some bad news for bedroom tax defaulters. Here is a quote from Govan Law Centre in Glasgow who are already experienced with eviction cases:

        “Many defended eviction actions in court can often turn on £3.55 per week payments to arrears, and with £12 to £22 per week being deducted from housing benefit [for the bedroom tax] it could become almost impossible to defend such eviction actions in the near future”.

        If people are already being evicted for rent arrears of as little as £3.55 per week, what chance will they have when much higher debt is incurred when the bedroom tax comes in?

        Tobanem

        March 2, 2013 at 3:34 pm

      • You can be evicted for a couple of hundred quid rents arrears if even that. It is reckless to suggest that tenants default on the bedroom tax (as part of a (misguided) “political campaign”), particularly single males with no dependants who are always the FIRST to be evicted!

        Evictee

        March 2, 2013 at 7:49 pm

      • And when push comes to shove and when tenants are being thrown onto the street the “political campaigners” and “banner wavers” are nowhere to be seen. Kind of like sanctions, their victims are just left to suffer, starve and DIE!!

        Evictee

        March 2, 2013 at 7:52 pm

      • Evictee, couldn’t agree more.

        I am not advocating anybody putting themself in a position where they are threatened by the baliffs.

        However, as Tobanem says, some people may find that they simply cannot pay this new charge.

        This will a lot worse than when you’ve only enough money left to live on economy baked beans.

        Andrew Coates

        March 3, 2013 at 12:41 pm

      • Mr Pickles Seems Too Have Dropped Off The ”Media Radar”. Has He Been Sacked Or Have I Missed Something

        Northolt Town

        October 21, 2013 at 12:04 pm

  7. Pass this on to every website you can and get as many people to sign this as you can.

    e-petition:

    Scrap Universal Jobmatch.

    http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/42705

    Obi Wan Kenobi

    March 2, 2013 at 11:02 am

    • BENEFIT CHANGES COME IN ON APRIL 1ST. [WHO ARE THE FOOLS NOW]

      DARTH VADER

      March 2, 2013 at 12:02 pm

  8. It’s hard to believe that Pickles actually comes from a working-class background, Maybe he’s ashamed of the fact for some reason & this is some sort of misguided “revenge”

    Kittycat58

    March 2, 2013 at 7:55 pm

  9. What, you mean ERIC – ‘PORK PIE’ PICKLES!

    Obi Wan Kenobi

    March 2, 2013 at 9:19 pm

  10. i’ve just come form the cab and the council took a tone with the advisor after her call she made a point of commenting on this.the council has been less then helpful over this scandal.giving wrong,vague,a disrespectful tone and atmosphere on a recent visit, and there is an air of sinister behaviour and in some cases legality.

    There does appear to be a discretionary payment in some cases,however given that this is on a local basis its unclear surrounding criteria.

    ken

    March 4, 2013 at 11:59 am

  11. Restrictions on health and welfare benefits for immigrants from European Union states would have to apply equally to UK citizens under EU law, says Downing Street.

    http://www.channel4.com/news/welfare-benefits-bulgaria-romania-eastleigh

    Obi Wan Kenobi

    March 4, 2013 at 7:17 pm

    • Just as the ‘habitual residence’ test already hits people here.

      Andrew Coates

      March 5, 2013 at 11:50 am

      • Yes I have had too in the past produce Passport – Birth Certificate And Utilities Bills Including Tenancy Agreement. Had Requirements To Go Back For At Least Two Years. Although I Had Been Dealing With The Departments Concerned For 3 Years And They Already Have / Had Details On File. I Think It Could Be Because I Came From London Via Norfolk Plus I Spent 5 Years Abroad Before Coming To Ipswich. By The Way I’ve Been In Ipswich 10+ Years And I Still Get F—–d About.

        Northolt Town

        October 21, 2013 at 12:02 pm

  12. Just told today that I must sign up to Universal Job Match or risk sanction. They have me over a barrel and tomorrow they are going to lay down the law in interview. Bollox! I will NOT be signing or agreeing. I have a good understanding of my digital rights….they cannot insist. The site strips individuals of their rights, it is insecure, open to identity fraud (your CV will be on the street) and the organsiaiton is completely irrespsonsible: it is an infringement on democracy & conservative values and if enforced will be in violation of UK & Eupopean Law of a free-market (requiring Monopolies Commission involvement); it is simply ill-concieved and half-assed. Secure 3rd party recrutiment agencies which I am already registered with along with the other sources I use supply everything I require. I WILL NOT BE SIGNING OR REGISTERING> DO NOT ALLOW THIS ON YOUR JOB SEEKERS AGREEMENT. IDS is a pomopus, overpaid toffee nosed tosser who needs himself to do a fair days ethical work instead of blighting the lives of people down on their luck seeking work. Pickles is another. The UJM system is simply a vehicle to persecute, erode your rights and steal your entitlement as a citizen !! DO NOT AGREE
    WE_are_Spartus !!

    I_am_Spartacus

    April 23, 2013 at 2:28 am

  13. i am not paying the council tax im not getting the extra money to pay it and im already finding it hard to make ends meet,im on esa because i am ill so why take sick money its all wrong

    Carole Gina Byrne

    June 28, 2013 at 9:14 pm


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