Weekly Update 30/7/2012 – Executive Meeting – chapter four (Council Tax Benefit)

Council Tax Support

The Government is abolishing Council Tax Benefit and delegating responsibility to Councils to support the poorest. Problem is that they’re not funding a replication of the existing scheme. Instead they’re making arbitrary cuts of 12%. They’re protecting pensioners but in some ways that makes it even more difficult to limit the effect on the rest. In effect the overall reduction on non pensioner recipients would be 20%. So whilst we continue to have a cap on the amount of council tax the very wealthiest homes have to pay, they’re pulling the safety net away from residents at the other end of the scale. Remember we have homes on the market at over £11m where the council tax is capped to be the same as homes valued at a fraction of that.

Left as a simple 20% cut, it will affect 1238 households in Gorse Hill (almost one in four homes) but only 121 homes in Timperley. How is that fair? Even the ruling Conservatives seem embarassed by these changes. In mitigation they have tried to shape the changes to protect the most vulnerable and they’re attempting to levy council tax on empty properties earlier to generate income to go towards supporting their scheme. However until the Tories are prepared to levy a fair council tax on the wealthiest, as far as I am concerned they are cruel, nasty and cowardly. This is one of their most disgusting policies and we should never forget it.

And as usual the Lib Dems say nowt.






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