Council tax benefit changes will hit poorest hardest says charity leader (From Haringey Independent)
Get involved: send your pictures, video, news & views by texting HARINGEY to 80360, or email us
Council tax benefit changes will hit poorest hardest says charity leader
A charity leader says proposals to replace council tax benefit will hit the poorest people in the borough hardest.
Reverend Paul Nicolson, from the group Taxpayers Against Poverty, has raised concerns about the proposed changes to council tax benefit which are due to come into force next year.
The Government is abolishing the current Council Tax Benefit from April 1 next year and authority’s being given control of benefits, with Haringey Borough Council’s being called the Council Tax Reduction Scheme.
The Treasury is cutting council tax benefit funding by ten per cent, which is hoped it will save approximately £500million per year.
Mr Nicolson, of Campbell Road, Tottenham, said: “To force the payment of council tax on those who are already far below the poverty line will be catastrophic.
“For a lot of people, who are already under huge financial pressure, they simply will not be able to pay their council tax.
“It is a gross injustice to tax people that are already severely poor. I don’t think the council should not do this and they should tell the government they cannot do it.
“There has been an increase in the number of people using the borough’s food banks and people and families will be put under more strain with the changes.”
Currently 25,560 households in the Borough receive complete support of 100 per cent Council Tax Benefit, meaning they don't pay anything towards their Council Tax bill.
Under the plans every household of working age would have to pay something towards their Council Tax bill.
The council plans to apply the Government cut to council tax funds as fairly as possible so those who currently receive 100 per cent Council Tax Benefit, will have to pay 20 per cent of their full council tax bill under the new proposals.
Under the proposals pensioners who receive council tax will receive the same level of support.
The council is currently running a consultation about the changes to council tax benefits and those interested in giving their view can do so by visiting the Haringey Council website.