230,000 households will be paying first council tax bill
- 10 Dec
The Welsh Government has announced that around 230,000 more households will pay council tax if new regulations are approved.
Regulations are being set up in Wales to avoid postcode lottery on benefits, but 330,000 households currently receive the tax benefits will be on average £67 worse off if approved on 19th December.
According to the Welsh Government, around 70% of these will be paying at least some council tax for the first time.
They may only have to pay a relatively small amount, but financial advice groups say it will add to the pressure already on their services.
The Welsh Government claims the regulations are designed to avoid a postcode lottery on the amount of benefits households receive, and will allow councils to continue to provide the means tested benefit in the next financial year, starting April 2013.
The regulations need to be passed before January so councils can continue to offer the means-tested benefit in the next financial year, starting in April 2013. If the regulations are not passed then no benefit will be paid and all households will have to meet their bills in full.
Citizens Advice Cymru director, Fran Targett, said at the end of the last quarter the service had seen a 136% year-on-year increase in inquiries about benefits.
There are people who never paid [council tax] before because of 100% benefit. With these changes they will need to pay, so there's an issue about giving them assistance with financial management and budgeting.
As people's incomes go down - these people in work and people on benefits - it's going to get tough for people to make these payments. [They] are at that stage are already on the margin at or below poverty, and large numbers of them will be families with children - £67 when you are already at or below the poverty line is impossible to find.
The UK Government have devolved it's responsibility for the council tax benefit to councils while cutting the funding available by 10%. The Welsh Government claims it cannot afford to make up the £22m shortfall, which will increased by the one-off costs for councils of setting up the new system, including around £1.5m on IT costs and £1.9m for staff training, as well as additional losses to cover low collection rates due to the high number of first-time rate payers.
- 02 Nov
THE ONS PLANS TO CHANGE THEIR DECISION TO MAKE HOUSING ASSOCIATIONS PUBLIC BODIES
According to reports by 24 Housing, the ONS said the following:Gavin Smart, Chartered Institute of Housing's deputy chief executive also said:"Although we have been expecting this decision for some...
- 30 Aug
RECENT ANALYSIS FINDS THAT THE HELP TO BUY SCHEME HAS ADDED TO THE INFLATION OF HOUSE PRICES
The analysis of the Help to Buy Scheme revealed the following:The chief executive of Paradigm Housing Group, Matthew Bailes, said:" ... clearly, it worked well for developers, and for providers, it...
- 22 Aug
A NORTH WALES COUNCIL REVEALED THEIR WAITING LIST FOR NEW HOMES HAS REACHED BREAKING POINT
The north Wales Council revealed their waiting list for new homes has reached "breaking point".According to Clare Budden, Flintshire Council's community enterprise chief officer said:"There are...
- 17 Aug
HOMELESSNESS POLICY IS UNDER REVIEW IN A NORTHAMPTONSHIRE COUNCIL
Kettering Borough Council has amended its letters to homeless residents to let them know of their right to request a temporary accommodation review.According to an ombudsman, Michael King:"People in...
- 15 Aug
FINANCIAL CONSTRAINTS HAVE CAUSED THE CLOSURE OF MANY CHILDREN AND YOUTH CENTRES
Local Government Association (LGA) made the following findings:Chair of the LGA's children and young people board, Richard Watts, said: "The reality is that services for the care and protection of...
- 11 Aug
RESIDENTS OF BUILDINGS IN LEDBURY ESTATE, SOUTHWARK, SOUTH LONDON WILL BE MOVED OUT TEMPORARILY
The buildings in Ledbury Estate in Southwark have been constructed in a similar way to Ronan Point, a tower block in Newham which collapsed in 1968 as a result of a gas explosion, killing three. An...
- 10 Aug
THERE IS A DECLINE IN THE HOUSING MARKET IN LONDON AND OTHER PARTS OF THE SOUTH EAST OF ENGLAND
The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics) made the following findings:Chief Economist at Rics, Simon Rubinsohn:"Sales activity in the housing market has been slipping in the recent month...
- 07 Aug
REPORT FINDS THAT PEOPLE ARE INTENSELY SUFFERING FROM LACK OF AFFORDABLE HOMES IN SCOTLAND
According to the report by "Shelter":Shelter's deputy director, Alison Watson, said:"This report shows the disproportionate impact of Scotland's housing crisis on young people and private renters who...
- 02 Aug
NEW REPORT BY THE PUBLIC ACCOUNT COMMITTEE IN WALES COMMENDS HOUSING ASSOCIATIONS
The report which was put together after nine months of inquiries stated the following:Nick Ramsey, Chair of the Public Accounts Committee, said:"Generally, we found governance and regulation within...
- 31 Jul
LONDON COUNCIL URGES THE GOVERNMENT TO MAKE MEASURES TO END LETTING FEES FOR PRIVATE RENTERS
The London council say urgent action is needed because the government has not provided "a clear timescale to introduce its own measure", Letting Agent Today, reports.Last year, the government had...
Revenue Optimisation "Coventry Mind has recently worked through a programme of Housing Benefit optimisation with Support Solutions and in particular their specialist Danny Key. Throughout the whole process Danny demonstrated that he has excellent knowledge of the subject and was able to put forward a convincing case for the increase in funding to the Housing Benefit team. Coventry Mind has already and will continue to recommend Support Solutions and in particular this service to other organisations." Steven Hill - Director of Central Services