Removal of safety net sees £120 council tax rise
- 31 Mar
A survey of local authorities has shown that over 670,000 households in the UK will face an increase in council tax from Tuesday.
Through the use of freedom of information requests, a joint investigation by the Guardian and the campaigning organisation False Economy have found that from April, 83 local authorities are reducing the protection for residents with vulnerabilities.
The survey of local authorities revealed that over 670,000 of the poorest households in England will face an increase in council tax of £120 a year due to the withdrawal of benefits.
Ministers cut the funding for the means-tested council tax benefit by £500m last year and instructed each local authority to decide how the reduced benefits should be distributed. Ministers also offered £100m in "transitional grants" to councils that designed schemes that would give those in need more protection, reports the Guardian.
This year the money will not be replenished meaning that the most vulnerable people will no longer be supported. Over 50 of the 83 councils reducing support relied on the government's transitional grant funding to provide welfare relief.
It is estimated that 675,000 working-age households will see bills rise by an average of £127 a year. It means that local authorities must choose between charging council tax to the working-age poor, or making deep cuts to local services on top of the government's 40% cuts to council budgets.
A False Economy spokesman said: "The transitional grant was never anything more than a cynical sticking plaster to be ripped off after a year and now we see the effect of its removal - half the councils that were relying on it are hiking council tax bills for people on the lowest incomes, many of whom are already living at a deficit due to low wages, high rents and a plethora of welfare cuts."
Hilary Benn, Labour's spokesman on local government, said the government's removal of the extra funding would mean "a further rise in council tax for people on the lowest incomes, including carers, single mums and the disabled. So while the prime minister goes around claiming that council tax has been frozen, it is the very poorest people in society who will be forced to pay more".
Sharon Taylor, chair of the Local Government Association's finance panel, told the Guardian: "When government handed the responsibility for administering council tax support to local authorities, it cut hundreds of millions in funding for it. The shortfall between the money councils receive to fund council tax support and the money we would need to protect those on low incomes is getting bigger and is likely to reach £1bn by 2016. At the same time, councils are tackling the biggest cuts in living memory and cannot afford to make up the difference."
The local government minister, Brandon Lewis, said: "Spending on council tax benefit doubled under the last government, costing taxpayers £4bn a year-equivalent to almost £180 a year per household. Welfare reform is vital to tackle the budget deficit left by the last administration. Our reforms to localise council tax support now give councils stronger incentives to support local firms, cut fraud, promote local enterprise and get people into work. We are ending the last administration's 'something for nothing' culture and making work pay."
What do you think of this? Tweet us your comments @suppsolutions
Image source: http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1435033
- 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...
How to Fund Housing Support and Social Care Services Good clear delivery of some complicated information. Jaqui Smith - Young Womens Housing Project