People face postcode lottery with changes to council tax benefit say solicitors (From Haringey Independent)
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‘Residents are facing a postcode lottery’- solicitors taking legal action against Haringey Borough Council
Solicitors taking legal action against changes to council tax benefit say residents are facing a postcode lottery.
Haringey Borough Council will face a legal challenge at the High Court next week over changes to council tax benefit which it passed through this month.
Lawyers at Irwin Mitchell will be seeking a Judicial Review over the council’s decision claiming the authority did not carry out a proper consultation about the changes.
Alex Rook, a specialist lawyer at Irwin Mitchell said: “Residents are facing a postcode lottery as to how the new council tax rebate system will be implemented.
“People living across the road from each other but technically in different boroughs could face a significantly different council tax bill simply because different councils have different policies.
He added: “Our clients are devastated at the thought of this additional burden when they are already struggling to pay for basics such as food and heating.”
The changes to council tax come after government announced it would be abolishing the current benefit from April 1 and cutting the allowance it gives to local authorities by 10 per cent.
Control of the benefit will be given to councils, who have to come up with their own council tax benefit schemes.
Under Haringey Council’s plans, all households of working age will have to pay 20 per cent towards their council tax bill.
The firm has also launched legal action against four other councils including Birmingham, Hackney, Rochdale and Sheffield and has said they are investigating other councils around the country.