Why are councils silent about the Localism Act’s eviction threat?

If you don’t have a plan to deal with the financial demands of the Localism Act, this could be you.

Has anyone received any information from their local authority about how it plans to implement the new council tax support scheme required by the Localism Act?

This scheme will be running from the beginning of April next year (2013), and it is therefore a matter of urgency that we find out what it will involve. Or is it our councils’ intention to take us all by surprise?

It is two months since I wrote my article on the subject, Poll Tax revival plan to take away your home, and I have heard nothing from my own local authority.

I have therefore written a letter, asking for information. If you are in the same situation, you may wish to use what follows as a template:

Dear County Council,

You will be aware that the Coalition government’s Localism Act means that Council Tax Benefit will be scrapped from April next year. Instead, local authorities – such as yours – will be compelled to set up local council tax support schemes. The aim is to cut 10 per cent from the current council tax benefit bill, or around £470 million.

Because pensioners will not be attacked in this way (at this time) – the legislation exempts them – 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 council tax, but these would affect groups other than current benefit recipients and so, in the name of fairness, I think we can be sure those who are on benefit now will end up paying that £470 million bill.

You can be sure that the illusion of choice has been included by the Coalition to ensure that you – and all the other local authorities in the UK – take the blame for what will be a considerable increase in the bills being paid by poorer households. I don’t think anyone who devised the legislation stopped to think what the tax hike will be, as a proportion of claimants’ earnings.

Worse than that, though, is the fact that I have not heard a single word from you about how you plan to approach this matter. Implementation of the scheme is now less than six months away, and those who will be affected need to plan how they intend to absorb the extra expense.

My fear is that you think you can remain silent until the very last minute in the hope that this will minimise harmful publicity against you. This would be disastrous for your taxpaying constituents.

Such a policy may well leave them unable to pay their bills and therefore, ultimately, homeless.

Please publicise your proposals to deal with the demands of the Localism Act now.

12 thoughts on “Why are councils silent about the Localism Act’s eviction threat?

  1. Tony Bennet

    My local council, Cornwall, has told us that it will be reducing the benefit paid by 30% so as to spare other services the cut. At the moment this is still open to ammendment but with their current record, I expect to suffer the 30% and I’m not sure with the cuts to benefits how I’m going to pay it.

  2. Rod Millard

    Wiltshire Council are still “consulting” on it. I expect their decision to come too late for anyone to MAKE any plans!

    1. Willie

      Wiltshire have already made their mind up everyone of working age will pay 20percent
      Unemployed or disabled makes no difference

  3. Mike Sivier

    According to the Politics GB Facebook page admin, Salford City Council plans to assess residents individually.
    Would any other reader (who knows what’s happening in their area) like to let us know what’s happening elsewhere?

  4. kevinlsmith64Kevin Smith

    Borough of Poole have sent information out along with a consultation which ends on 5th November stating that working age claimants will be required to pay a minimum of 20% towards their council tax and with both Poole and Bournemouth having ageing populations, many will probably be asked to pay more than 20% — http://bpacc.co.uk/changes-to-council-tax-benefit/

  5. Angie

    I live in Leicester and I have had a letter saying that as I am on JSA I will have to pay 20% of my council tax well I have my son still living with me so I pay some of my tax now so will I have to pay 20% on top of what I am paying now??? I have ask they but as off yet they have not go back to me.

  6. ThegoodolddaysoftheNHS

    One report suggested that councils won’t be able to ‘recover’ this money if people don’t pay it, because the costs would be much higher than the amount.

    We got bills for the 90s Poll Tax, and we didn’t pay.

    My fear, though, is that the 20-30% hike will simply be taken out of any other benefit received, so it will most likely be taken from HB.

    Oh yes, in the interests of fairness, and to pay for the bankers mistakes, the poorest will pay more.

  7. Poplar resident

    Tower Hamlets council (East London) sent a letter saying they’ll use their own budget to cover the cost, instead of incrementing the tax for those who don’t get exemption.

    1. JustAnotherNobody

      Medway council want 20-25% from everybody
      People who are on benefits dont have all the money to spare to pay you – You shoudl think of a different way – Putting FOOD on the table of families and paying the exhorbitant heating bill is MORE important than you wanting money.

      Govt = Inhumane !

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