Campaign leader says legal challenge over council tax benefits is not over (From Haringey Independent)
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Taxpayers Against Poverty campaign group leader says legal challenge over council tax benefits is not over
The leader of a political campaign group fighting changes to council tax benefit says the fight is not over yet.
Reverend Paul Nicolson, of campaign group Taxpayers Against Poverty (TAP), has been supporting the legal challenge in which solicitors sought a Judicial Review against Haringey Borough Council’s plan for council tax benefit.
Yesterday Justice Underhill ruled in favour of the council at the High Court meaning proposed changes to council tax benefit will go ahead as planned.
Mr Nicolson said: “I have to say I am slightly nervous. With the combination of the benefit cap, bedroom tax and the possibility of council tax as well, the poorest people are going to be put into an impossible situation.
“It’s not over yet and the judge said it was a close decision and granted an appeal so there is still hope.
“Thousands of people in Haringey are going to be affected by this and cuts are already starting to bite.
"Mothers are already having to choose to pay rent and their children’s food instead of feeding themselves.”
Lawyers, representing a woman from Haringey, argued in court the council had not carried out a proper consultation over its plans for its changes to the benefit.
Under the proposals agreed by the council last month all households of working age who have previously not paid council tax will have to pay 20 per cent towards their council tax bill.
Control of council tax support is being handed over to all local authorities by the government which is also cutting the overall allowance by 10 per cent.
Yesterday the council welcomed the decision by the Judge and said it hopes its council tax reduction scheme will begin from April this year.
Justice Underhill granted permission for an appeal which is expected to be heard at some point next week.