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Haringey Borough Council faces possible legal action over council tax changes
Benefit claimants faced with a rise in council tax are threatening legal action against Haringey Borough Council over its changes to council tax benefit.
Reverend Paul Nicolson, of campaign group Taxpayers Against Poverty (TAP), is helping two residents who claim the council did not carry out a proper consultation about the changes to the benefit, which mean every household of working age will have to pay something towards their council tax bill.
Solicitors representing the claimants, who have asked to remain anonymous, have sent a letter to the council informing the authority of the possible legal action.
The Tottenham-based clergyman said: “Central government throws hand-grenades into local government finances and into the welfare system and then stands back to admire the damage.
“It would cost Haringey council tax payers an average increase of £45 a year, or 86p a week, to keep the 100 per cent benefit; an increase I am willing to pay.”
The Government is abolishing the current benefit from April 1 this year and local authorities have been being given control of benefits.
Haringey 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.
At a meeting of the full council on Thursday January 17, Haringey Borough Council will decide a new council tax benefit scheme.
A spokeswoman for the council confirmed it has received the letter. She added: “We have considered various options for our scheme.
“We have consulted widely, including writing to the 36,000 households directly affected. A final decision will be taken by the full council at a public meeting on January 17.”