Poll tax revival plan to take away your home

How much do you like your home?

Is it a good building? Do you get on with the neighbours? Do you live in a pleasant part of the country?

Well, take a good look around because you could soon lose it all if the Tory-led Coalition government has its way.

The plan is to scrap Council Tax Benefit from April next year and compel local authorities to set up local council tax support schemes, in order to cut 10 per cent from the current council tax benefit bill – a total of around £470 million per year.

Because pensioners will not be attacked in this way – at this time – this means working-age people are likely to face a loss of at least 16 per cent of their benefit.

Councils could choose to reduce spending in other areas or increase their revenue through council tax but, as these will affect groups other than current benefit recipients, I think we all know which way our councillors will be pushed. Either way, the local authority will take the blame – or at least, that’s what the Coalition hopes.

It will then be up to those authorities to pursue poor people through the courts for payment, if they cannot afford the new charge. This could amount to more than 760,000 people who work, but whose incomes are so low that they currently receive council tax benefit (The fact that the benefit being paid to them is effectively a subsidy for their employers, who should pay enough for them to support themselves without the need for benefit, is apparently a side issue) plus the disabled (already a target for hate campaigns by the Department for Work and Pensions), the unemployed, and families with young children.

The alternative, of course, is to move somewhere cheaper. You see, this is another part of the government’s social cleansing policy, created to run alongside the housing benefit cap and the ‘bedroom tax’.

The plan, in the government’s Localism Bill, has already been labelled a revival of Margaret Thatcher’s hated Poll Tax because it aims to ensure that everybody pays, no matter how little money you have.

To put this in perspective, the annual saving will total less than one-twelfth of Vodafone’s tax bill. That company owed the UK Treasury £6 billion but the government let it get away with paying just £1.25 billion after a ‘sweetheart’ deal was made with HM Revenue and Customs. That’s the same government that will have you kicked out of your home for the sake of a few pennies.

Rebates of up to 100 per cent have been available to the unemployed, disabled people, full-time carers and households on low incomes, many of whom have not been required to pay at all, ever since Council Tax came into effect in 1992.

Councils are currently setting out how they plan to deal with the change. Manchester has launched a consultation on proposals to require all households except pensioners to pay at least 15 per cent of the council tax bill, while Barnet is proposing a minimum 25 per cent charge for all working-age residents – clearly that council wants to clear out the poor and set up shop as a desirable residence for the rich.

Adding insult to injury, the tax increase for the low-paid will be timed to come into effect next April, on the same day as a tax cut for millionaires.

It all seems a very vindictive way to keep the scheme’s architect, Eric Pickles, in pies.

Wouldn’t it be better just to get Vodafone to pay its taxes?

28 thoughts on “Poll tax revival plan to take away your home

  1. hugosmum70

    sometimes i wonder why i bother to keep taking my meds these days. i am a pensioner but just because they arent touching us doesnt mean it wont affect us. i have 2 grown up kids. one is my full time carer. already i have to subsidise her fares to get her here to help me cos most of her carers allowance, being means tested, is taken off her Income support. that carers allowance is not given to her for her to live off but to help her do the job of looking after me thus keeping me out of residential care where the government will have to subsidise me for a change for my keep.ive got nothing saved cos of helping my kids keep heads above water. my 2nd child is disabled and again there are times wen i have to help him keep his roof over his head. so although i wont have council tax to pay for myself chances are ill have to help one or both my kids to pay theirs. they are already struggling to make ends meet. i cant sit here and see them lose their homes. i only have a 1 nedroomed bungalow so no room at this inn for them.

    1. Mike Sivier

      I sympathise completely. I am a carer – my girlfriend is disabled – and I receive Carers’ Allowance and Income Support. In exactly the same way as your daughter, my IS is cut back because I receive CA. But I’ll give you a reason to keep going: Too many other people have already given up in the face of the merciless regime that’s currently in power. The only way to get rid of them is to oppose them (albeit peacefully) at every opportunity. You can’t do that if you’ve given up. So, chin up, face forward, and fight the good fight, is what I say.

      1. hugosmum70

        note… i did say SOMETIMES. dont worry i aint going nowhere at least not till weve knocked that smarmy fatherless son and his cronies into kingdom come……….oh sorry. the fiiery furnace i should say. i dont wanna meet him when i die either.lol.
        besides i value my life too much still and i aint looking forward to the inevitable either. seen too many go when i was a nurse as well as family.so heres to making it to way past the next election. and ill look on the other posts and wensites etc over the next few days.

        Simon me too. i used ti be so placid. now im completely opposite.im forever posting up things this lot in power are doing. not many answer tho.l probs thinking here she goes again.
        but everyome must get those odd times when they think.. how can we stop this man?hes a law unto himself.goes n does as he pleases hates the poor and infirm. must get others down too.no matter how militant or politically minded you might be.

        right now its granny;s bedtime.lol.
        night everyone

    2. Suz

      i’m sorry but i have little sympathy. As you said, pensioners yet again aren’t being touched with either council tax or the new bedroom tax. Pensioners up and down the country rattling around in 3 bed houses don’t have to pay for any extra bedrooms and yet people on benefits, the disabled or the mentally ill have to pay. You get everything for nothing including even your heating paid in winter. How is that in any way fair?

      1. Smiling Carcass

        So, Suz, you have little sympathy? Well, I wonder who will have sympathy for you when you are old and frail; when the landlord comes along and says pay more or get out of the HOME you have lived in for half a lifetime.

        Pensioners have worked and paid into the system; shouldn’t we recognise that by honouring the secured, lifetime tenancies they signed?

        Moving home, even by choice is recognised as one of the most stressful situations you can find yourself in; how much more stressful would it be for a pensioner?

        Add to that the fact there just aren’t enough smaller properties, and the whole agenda becomes farcical.

        Have a heart- but for the grace of God…

  2. Simon Whyte

    They want you to quit give up and die one less burden on there society I plan on living to 120 just to annoy Camoron

    1. Mike Sivier

      That’s the spirit. They won’t last forever – we just have to last until the next election… and then make damn sure we build something better. One thing Cameron said (on his poster) was true – we can’t go on like this. If the last couple of years have proved anything, it’s that the next election should be pivotal in the course of British history. The British people need to make a decisive change, and hold our politicians to it.

      1. Simon Whyte

        To right I watch the news and think Im sure I didnt used to be this left wing and reactionary but nowdays Im willing to protest everything and anything bugger em

    1. Mike Sivier

      Brilliant.
      I’d appreciate it if readers would join my own Facebook page – there’s a button at the top left of this site marked ‘Vox Political’. I need ‘like’s!

      1. Mike Sivier

        Also please look at the other posts on this site. If you’re interested enough to read this one, there should be plenty more material worth your time. The list of recent posts is on the left of the screen. Ta – and sorry about the shameless self-promotion!

  3. micky mouse

    I wonder how many of the readers of this would actualy DO something, !!!, oh you will winge and moan, , you LET the MPs get away with all the deceit keeping their jobs, YOU the people let Bliar and his cronies deceive you into going to war, and get away with it, !you let all the immigrants come and rob you blind and still do nothing, …. so what do you expect, … back in the early 70s, the working generation(unions) called a national strike, and out went the resident PM. so do it again, … but no you dont stand together do you!!! the ruling party’s worship money, so deprive them and they will fall!!!

    1. Mike Sivier

      A better comparison with this situation is still the late 80s/early 90s, when the Poll Tax demonstrations helped topple Margaret Thatcher from the top spot. But we still had a Conservative government, with Conservative policies that harmed the ordinary citizen.
      There are things that we can do about the current issue, though:
      Firstly, you can write to your MP and ask them to clarify their own opinion about the plans in the Localism Bill. Will they support it?
      You can also write to your councillor and ask them to say what your local authority is planning to do about the new duty that will be placed upon it. Tell them it is NOT appropriate to wait until March next year and then unleash it as a fait accompli upon the public; you want to know NOW. That way, if the plan is likely to hurt a mass of the population (and it probably will), you can demand work to change it for the better.
      Finally, you can write to the media. Your local newspaper’s letters page will be a great place to stir up public interest in a matter that will affect everybody, and you never know – the paper might even agree to take it up as a story or, better still, a campaign. It depends how right-wing it is and who the proprietor is. If you haven’t made much headway with your MP or councillor, a letter to the paper is a great way to stir up animosity about the way they’ve treated you, and get them to do the right thing, say what’s happening and agree to support you.
      After that, if nobody’s seeing reason, then you’re right, Micky. It’ll be time to get out on the streets and dig our heels in.
      Your comments about Tony Blair, immigrants, and the apathy of the masses are of course your own opinions and don’t reflect mine.

    2. Billy Coyle

      Mike how right you are M8,we will soon be bowing to alla in this country we are being over run,theres more and more Immigrants comeing in,and as soon as they get here they go on benifets.When you go into a corner shop owned by them they speak over you in their own lingo.When they come to this country one of the conditions should be when working with the public you speak English at all times,and if they dont like it,deport them,thats what they do in Austraila no messing live by their rules or leave simple.this country has been a soft touch,time we changed.Rant over

      1. Mike Sivier

        I can’t say I approve of the sentiments you express, Billy, because it seems to me that you’re steering very close to racial intolerance – if motivated by the behaviour of others.
        My problem is, I know that you might be right, in a certain number of cases. It’s like the sickness/disability question – those who genuinely deserve benefits are undermined by the miniscule fraction who are sponging. Does that mean EVERYBODY who applies should be deprived of their benefits – or of the chance to live in this country?

      2. Dee Ross

        i came back to this blog just now to say something very similar about Billys comment. this is not about immigrants. its about overly rich spoilt public bullingdon boy schoolboys who neither know nor care about those they represent. they are out for their own glory or in this case notoriety ,cos thats how this lot will go down in history. they are running a hate campaign against those who are getting no chance to better themselves. nor will under this condem parliament and those who,through no fault of their own are disabled or permanently ill. THEY, the rich oppressors, are the ones need deporting if anyone. i can appreciate that some of the countries problems stem from having too many immigrants but you cant blame the immigrants for that. i also agree that if they live in this country they should live as English not Asian but they have a human right to follow whatever religion they wish as long as they dont shove it down everyone else’s throat.. but to me i am not being racist in those thoughts. that is simply common sense.

      3. MikeR

        Australians…. speaking English. Lucky for you I have a sense of humour.
        You’ve obviously never had to understand an Ozzie’s mangled version of HM’s lingo, mate

  4. Jai Gomer

    On this, and many other forums, it seems people are crying out for change, and lambasting our politicians for being ‘unfit for purpose’, so my question is : do WE (the people as a whole; as a self-regulating democratic mechanism) do better? If it were possible (and it SO is!) to create a political party which had no agenda of its own, but existed merely to act as the mechanism to collate, assess and implement the wishes of the majority of the electorate, then would this be an acceptable way forward for political activity in this country? Do we feel that we, as a people, have the capacity to determine our own lives – as individuals as well as a nation – and to work together to ensure that a politician-free, extremist-free Democracy can succeed, and even thrive? Are we able to try? Are we willing to try? I’d love to hear what my fellow citizens think…

    1. thixotropic

      I love what you are saying, although I am not one of your fellow citizens. Take it upon yourselves to do productive things for yourselves and your communities — local, bottom-up change is stable and powerful.

      Try organising some action that is needed in your community — fixing up a house for someone old; grow some food — organise a community garden. There is so much you can do without a lot of money and without a lot of bureaucratic BS. It takes elbow grease, a lot of work. Many hands make light work, though.

      We must all be the change we want to see in the world — it all begins with us. Blessings and best wishes on your efforts, Jai Gomer.

  5. Smiling Carcass

    People keep talking about Council Tax benefit being cut- but why can’t the shortfall be made up by making the wealthiest, with the biggest homes pay more council tax rather than hit the poorest by removing the benefits they need?

    1. hugosmum70

      Smiling Carcass (and everyone else)
      How can you MAKE this govt do ANYTHING. especially as it will affect them and their rich friends.and that’s a no no …to them.
      As i said before they are a law unto themselves. proves it with the newspaper blackouts (you dont honestly think we are getting ALL that’s happening at number 10 and Westminster do you?) proves it by the police visit to a vulnerable older woman in Wales at midnight whose crime had been???? sharing something on Facebook that everyone is sharing who actually cares whats happening to this country and its vulnerable people. proves it with the cover ups we are hearing about. the Rachel Brookes saga and numerous others.The laws they rush through parliament cos they know there is gonna be uproar if its not signed sealed and delivered before the activists get wind of it or can do anything about it.every newspaper carries reports,articles,scandals around or from the govt and their friends,business interests, etc.on a daily basis. wether left right or neutral (is there such a thing as a neutral newspaper?)

      1. hugosmum70

        No, we should still say what we believe. And do what we can to change things. Some of us unfortunately can’t be too militant, much as we would like, due to certain disabilities, ailments etc. But putting the frighteners on vulnerable people makes me shudder. Shades of nazism there.

  6. dave lee

    ……in my circle of friends council tax has allways been known as poll tax …. it was just renamed by the thachists…..the retoric here suggests you’ll ‘be kicked out of your home for the sake of a few pennies’ not wishing to be devils advocate but if that’s so Y not pay the ‘few pence’…. what’s acctually happening is the ‘elite’ are abbandoning the ‘plebs’ they’re hanging us out to dry……he only reason they ain’t touched pensioners yet is they think old people are stupid enough to vote for them next time….and be sure if they get in again …. the elderly will be first to suffer……well as a pensioner I won’t be voting for any of ’em….;<))

    1. Mike Sivier

      Why not pay the ‘few pence’? Because it’s likely to be more than a few POUNDS, and that’s more than many will be able to pay! I think you’re right about the Conservatives’ reasons for leaving pensioners more or less alone – youngsters are far less likely to vote, and therefore easy pickings.

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