Ipswich Unemployed Action.

Campaigning for Unemployed Rights.

Council Tax: as Claimants Have to Pay Arrears Rise, Rise and Rise.

Eric Pickles: Inflicted Council Tax Debt on Poor while Stuffing Himself with Pies.

Having just paid my monthly Council Tax bill – at the last possible moment – this issue flagged by Ken is something hard not to notice.

It is hardly a coincidence that the rate of arrears has grown massively since people on the Dole – that is a the minimum you are supposed to need to live in – had their money cut by having to fork out this extra monthly bill.

Nor is a surprise that many people put electricity, gas and water, not to mention food, above Council Tax as a priority.

I would lay a hefty bet that the rise is in large part due to this obligation for claimants to ‘contribute’.

On food alone mind you it’s not only the out-of-work who struggle: “More than 8 million in UK struggle to put food on table, survey says. Food Foundation reveals scale of food insecurity, with 4.7 million thought to be regularly going a day without eating.”

The man responsible for this burden on the poorest, Eric Pickles – not somebody who looks he;s ever been short of a good nosh – desigend the system partly to punish those on benefits, and partly to make life more difficult for Labour councils where they will eb forced to reply oin this expensive to collect and oppressive scheme.

Piggy Pickles is up there with Iain Duncan Smith as an enemy of us lot.

Debt Charities Warn Of Record Levels Of Council Tax Arrears. Welfare Weekly.

Two debt charities have called on local authorities to end the practice of passing vulnerable residents Council Tax debts to bailiffs.

Two leading debt advice charities have called on local authorities to end the practice of passing vulnerable residents Council Tax debts to bailiffs, as figures show the level of arrears has hit a record high.

Analysis by the StepChange debt charity found that average Council Tax arrears have increased from £717 in 2011 to £961 in 2015, an increase of 25 per cent. Just 14 per cent of the charity’s clients we’re struggling with Council Tax arrears in 2011, but this has now increased to a shocking 30 per cent.

 Figures from National Debtline, an expert advisory service run by the Money Advice Trust, closely mirror those from StepChange. Nearly one in four calls (24%) to the specialist service were from people with Council Tax arrears in 2015, compared to just 14 per cent in 2007.

Both charities have expressed concerns with the increasing use of enforcement agents by local authorities. The Money Advice Trust’s ‘Stop The Knock’ campaign has revealed how 1.27 million debts directly related to Council Tax arrears were referred to bailiffs in 2014/15.

An independent review, led by former MP Eric Ollerenshaw, has also expressed concerns over the increasing use of enforcement agents by local authorities in recovering debts.

More here.

Written by Andrew Coates

May 9, 2016 at 3:35 pm

6 Responses

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  1. Former DWP ministers could face police investigation over fit-to-work tests
    A complaint was made against Iain Duncan Smith and Chris Grayling

    Police in Scotland are assessing whether to launch a criminal investigation into two former DWP ministers’ handling of so-called disability fit-to-work tests.



    Disability benefit cuts ‘changing things for the better’ DWP’s Stephen Crabb says
    The Government is pressing ahead with ESA cuts in 2017

    Mr Crabb made the claim at his first Work and Pensions Questions session in the House of Commons, during which he was asked how he differed from his recently departed predecessor Iain Duncan Smith.



    May 9, 2016 at 8:13 pm

  2. Excellent news Ken.

    More, “A prominent disability activists has complained to Police Scotland over the actions of former work and pensions secretary Iain Duncan Smith and former employment minister Chris Grayling.

    John McArdle, co-founder of disability campaign group Black Triangle, has lodged a complaint with police in Edinburgh saying the two Conservative politicians are guilty of the Scottish criminal offence of wilful neglect of duty by a public official.

    He claims they failed to take steps to improve the work capability assessment (WCA) in 2010 after being warned by a coroner that its flaws risked causing future deaths.

    Police Scotland confirmed a complaint had been made.

    A spokeswoman said: “Police in Edinburgh received a report of misconduct in public office on 23 March 2016.

    “The individual who made the complaint has been spoken to and we are awaiting further information to assess this matter and establish what actions are required.”

    Read more at http://thirdforcenews.org.uk/tfn-news/police-asked-to-investigate-former-dwp-ministers#3O9tFYxMvhcESY4d.99

    Andrew Coates

    May 10, 2016 at 11:02 am


      Interesting to see a commentator on that report on the DWP deaths believing justice will eventually be done just like in the Hillsborough tragedy.


      May 10, 2016 at 2:17 pm

      • Yes, but by the time Lord Iain Duncan Smith of Chingford and Woodford Green is put on trial in 27 years time in the year 2043 he will be 89 years old and pleading senility.

        Time Lady

        May 10, 2016 at 3:14 pm

      • Yes, but by the time Lord Iain Duncan Smith of Chingford and Woodford Green is put on trial at the Hague for crimes against humanity in 27 years time in the year 2043 he will be 89 years old and pleading senility.

        Time Lady

        May 10, 2016 at 3:15 pm

  3. New Pension Tracing Service Website Launched.

    A new DWP website has been launched by the Pension Tracing Service to help people find their lost pension savings.

    A new DWP website has been launched today by the Pension Tracing Service to help people more easily and quickly locate their lost pension savings.

    There is currently an estimated £400 million in unclaimed pension savings. This is money people have previously saved for their retirement, and the new website will better help people to locate their hard-earned savings.

    Our wider pension reforms are creating a dynamic market where people have greater freedom and flexibility over their savings, and we expect our reforms will increase demand for the Pension Tracing Service.

    Minister for Pensions, Baroness Ros Altmann said:

    People have had on average 11 jobs during their working life which can mean they have as many work place pensions to keep track of.

    The new DWP online Pension Tracing Service helps reunite people with their lost pensions, giving details of providers to help people track them down.



    May 10, 2016 at 1:53 pm

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