Council Tax: New Threat for the Unemployed Looms.
Council Tax is a burden for anybody on benefits.
A system in which we got full relief has been replaced by an unjust scheme which means that we pay (with no rise on benefits) widely different rates according to which council area we live in.
This has been the result:
Half a million more people summoned to court over unpaid council tax, after benefits scrapped
Half a million more people were summoned to court last year over unpaid council tax, after benefits protecting low-income families from paying it were scrapped.
Almost three million people in England were taken to court by local authorities in 2013-14 because they had not paid council tax. This was an increase of more than 25 per cent on the previous tax year, according to the figures obtained via Freedom of Information by False Economy, which is brought to you by local campaigners about the cuts and their effects.
Everybody on the dole who has to pay this particular tax knows it’s low on their priorities.
So non-payment, and court cases, are rife.
Many who do pay deeply resent having what is effectively a cut in the meage income imposed in the name of ‘localism’.
Now we learn that this chancer, Eric OBE Ollerenshaw is in charge of a “review”.
An “independent” review is to examine how local Council Tax Support (LCTS) schemes are helping low-income families across the country, it has been announced today.
Reports Welfare Weekly.
The review will be led by Eric Ollerenshaw OBE, a former council leader and Member of Parliament, who has been tasked to examine the effectiveness, fairness and transparency of newly created Council Tax Reduction schemes.
Mr Ollenshaw served as the Conservative MP for Lancaster and Fleetwood between 2010 to 2015, before losing his seat to Cat Smith of the Labour Party in the last General Election.
Before moving into politics, Mr Ollerenshaw was a full-time teacher of History and spent 30 years teaching in three comprehensive schools.
The Tory-led coalition government scrapped Council Tax Benefit in April 2013, handing local authorities the power to develop and administer their own schemes for local residents.
It’s abolition was supported by Mr Ollenshaw, which may lead to some people questioning just how “independent” the review of Council Tax Support schemes can be.
He has also consistently voted in favour of other welfare cuts and changes, including ‘Bedroom Tax’ and the controversial benefit cap.
His Parliamentary record shows his hard right politics:
- Consistently voted against raising welfare benefits at least in line with prices Show votes
- Consistently voted for greater restrictions on campaigning by third parties, such as charities, during elections Show votes
- Consistently voted for increasing the rate of VAT Show votes
- Consistently voted for replacing Trident with a new nuclear weapons system Show votes
- Consistently voted for a reduction in spending on welfare benefits
We can only speculate that cuts in this benefit, reducing us further into poverty, will be on the agenda.