Govt denies further council tax benefit cuts
- 14 Jan
Following reports that there will be further cuts next year, the Communities and Local Government department has denied the further cuts to council tax benefit.
After the 10% confirmed reduction in the benefit to take place as of April this year, the reports say there will be a further 8.5% cut next year.
According to the Local Government Chronicle, last week ministers from the Department of Communities and Local Government announced that the budget for Council Tax Benefit will be reduced by a further 8.5% in 2014-15, but the department has described this as 'totally untrue' and 'without foundation'.
Currently 5.9 million people receive council tax benefit, but as of April 2013 this will no longer exist and instead will be replaced with a grant that covers 90% of the cost. The responsibility of how to divulge this grant is on each local authority, and many are imposing greater reductions on working age claimants so that they are able meet a requirement to protect more vulnerable groups.
According to reports, members of the Local Government Association were told by CLG ministers this week that the grant would have a further cut of 8.5% in 2014/15, amounting to a £280 million reduction.
Officials from the CLG department have denied this, saying the funding will remain at £3.3 billion in 2013/14 and 2014/15.
A spokesperson said:
These claims are totally untrue, there is no reduction in the overall funding level for council tax support between 2013/14 and 2014/15 as set out in the provisional settlement in December, and any claims otherwise are without foundation.
Given council tax benefit spending has doubled, welfare reform is vital to help tackle the deficit. The localisation of council tax benefit will give councils stronger incentives to cut fraud, promote local enterprise and get people back into work.
This comes amid possible council tax rises, in spite of David Cameron imposing a two year freeze on council tax rates. There are councils that are insisting they will have to go against this and raise council tax to cover costs for services such as meals on wheels and road repairs.
23 councils across England have said they plan to reject the freeze, and a further 71 say they are also considering it. This is after it was specifically ordered by Mr Cameron and Eric Pickles, the Local Government Secretary last month, when Mr Pickles said that all councils had a “moral duty” not to raise taxes.
The councils refusing this freeze plan to reject a grant offered by Mr Pickles’s Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) in place of a tax rise, claiming they need the revenue for services.
- 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