Tag Archives: tax

Notts Uncut (Part of UK Uncut) event in Nottingham on Saturday 21st March at 1pm, plus a Budget Day protest on the 18th.


*** Visit Notts SOS Facebook page for these and many other events: https://www.facebook.com/groups/129772307075242

ACTION CALL OUT: The Great British Tax Robbery: CITIZENS’ ARREST Notts Uncut (Part of UK Uncut) event When? Saturday, March 21 at 1:00pm Where? Boots at The Victoria Centre in Nottingham Details? on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/350093095186852/

Twitter hashtag for other UK Uncut events: #taxdodgingistheft

“Election season is upon us. For the past four years we’ve been fighting the coalition government’s savage public sector cuts and exposing their lies and hypocrisy. Labour and the coalition promise more cuts to come. Lets come together on Saturday the 21st March for a national day of action to send a clear message to the political parties: reverse the cuts!

The government told us they’d “protect the poorest and most vulnerable”. They said “those with the broadest shoulders will bear the brunt of the cuts”. And what have we seen? Dismantling the NHS and wrecking the welfare state. Cutting schools, youth clubs, sure start centres, domestic violence refuges and libraries. Slashing local council budgets. Attacking disabled people with inhumane ‘work capability assessments’ and cuts to vital benefits. Removing access to justice through legal aid cuts. Allowing the big six energy companies to push people into fuel poverty. Cutting jobs, wages and pensions. Selling off social housing and moving people away from their communities. Driving hundreds of thousands into food banks and making families choose between heating or eating.

Angry? Join us on Saturday 21st March on the trail of one of the most obvious crimes of all time: the Great British Tax Robbery. We’re targeting the governments’ favourite tax-dodging bank, HSBC. David Cameron says we can’t afford funding for the welfare state. But the deepest and most brutal cuts to our vital public services have been enacted whilst big banks like HSBC who caused the financial crash pocket billions in tax avoidance and help other companies to do the same.

George Osborne thinks it’s “not his job” to clean up corrupt tax-dodgers. So it’s up to us to show HSBC for what it really is: a crime scene. On Saturday 21st let’s send a clear message to the government and HSBC that what they’ve done is CRIMINAL.

Dress as your detective of choice or as a tax-dodging robber with a bag full of public service swag. We’ll turn our local HSBC into an ‘active crime scene’, cordon off the area, take ‘witness statements’ from passers-by and get set to expose the crimes against our public services.
The government talks about ‘benefits scroungers’, but we all know who’s really scrounging off the state. It’s time to bring the REAL CRIMINALS to JUSTICE.

Lets come together on the 21st and take a stand against austerity.

See you on the streets!

An organising meeting will be posted shortly!”

Also: Wednesday, March 18, 2015 at 05:00 PM at Brian Clough Statue in Nottingham a Budget Day protest will take place organised by People’s Assembly using a ‘pots and pans protest’. Part of a national day of action.

“On Wednesday 18 March George Osborne will publish his final budget before the general election and we’re sure it will be full of tax breaks for his friends in big business, banks and hedge funds. But will he mention food banks, poverty and the housing crisis? Join us after work at the Brian Clough statue with your pots and pans and drums!

By all accounts it will be savage. £12 billion cuts to the welfare budget at least, according to the papers. A budget designed to pour heap on the poorest, and to buy votes in the weeks before an election. With a Labour party unwilling to speak out we need protest to voice opposition and make this the final austerity budget.

With less than 2 months to go before the election it’s vital that we protest austerity, otherwise the parties will continue it regardless of the winner. Join us on Wednesday with your pots and pans, and get involved in the protest against austerity!

Nottingham People’s Assembly
http://www.nottspeoplesassembly.org/

Scrap the Bedroom Tax – Press Release about City Council protest on 13-Nov-2014


PRESS RELEASE: For Immediate release

Scrap the Bedroom Tax Defend Council Tax Benefit Nottingham: Cathy Meadows 07913476905

Protesters rally to demand Nottingham City Council refund bedroom tax tenants.

Tenants and supporters are protesting outside Loxley House at 1pm today because Nottingham City Council have:

– Ignored tenants who have tried to claim bedroom tax refunds (under CPR 2006 or 1996 loophole[i])
– Paid money to landlords which should have been refunded to tenants.
– Delayed investigating tenants’ exemptions and requests for refunds.

One tenant who was exempt but paid bedroom tax for nearly a year has been trying to claim a refund since June and has still not received it. Nottingham City Council paid the refund to Nottingham Community Housing Association but neither the Council nor the Housing Association will hand over the money. Another tenant had to write three letters to the Council between August and October before the Council would investigate whether they were exempt (which they were).

Because council housing benefit records do not go back far enough, the Council asked Social Landlords and City Homes to provide lists of tenants who could be exempt. These investigations ended in May 2014[ii] – but tenants who were exempt were left off these lists. Even though the Council have known since June 2014 that exempt tenants were left off the lists, they refuse to meet with campaigners and say they will not do anything else to try and identify tenants wrongly charged.

Protesters are demanding that the Council:

– Immediately refund all tenants known to be exempt.

– Respond promptly and properly to all enquiries about exemptions.

– Write personally to all bedroom tax tenants of 2013/14 whose claims go back further than the Council records, to inform them about the exemption.

– Publicise the exemption in the local press.

– Provide information, posters and leaflets about the exemption to all advice centres, job centres and community groups etc.

– Launch an independent investigation into why tenants have been left off lists and why the Council didn’t take further action.

– Launch an independent investigation into why the Council have paid money which should have been refunded to tenants, to landlords.

Ends

Notes for Editors

[i]The CPR 2006 was identified in December 2013. It affects working age tenants in social housing who have occupied the same home continuously (or have been forced to move) and have been claiming Housing Benefit since 1996.

[ii] Letter to campaign from David Liversidge, June 2014

Article from Nottingham and Nottinghamshire Scrap the Bedroom Tax about the affordable Housing Bill


The Affordable Housing Bill – a Campaign’s View

‘The bedroom tax? Hasn’t that been scrapped?’ We get comments like this at Nottingham and Nottinghamshire Scrap the Bedroom Tax campaign stalls now.  The Labour Party said it would scrap the tax and the Lib Dems said they no longer support it.

The well-publicised Affordable Homes Bill, which proposes changes to the tax,  recently got through its second reading in parliament, with support from both parties. But bedroom tax tenants are still suffering.

‘Y’ is terrified about the impact of a summons on her mental health and has borrowed money to pay her bedroom tax arrears. She doesn’t know how she’ll pay it back or what will happen when the arrears build up again.

‘A’ and ‘Z’ pay their bills fortnightly and buy as much food as they can afford and then stay at home until the next benefit payment.

‘K’ suffers from depression and is grieving the recent death of a close elderly relative. She is now facing mounting arrears as that relative helped her pay the bedroom tax.

‘P’ was refused a discretionary housing payment (DHP) and is using food banks to feed her family.

The bill does nothing for them now and it may still do nothing if and when it gets through eight more stages to become law.

The bill does not abolish the bedroom tax. It exempts households where:

  • certain home adaptions have been made because of disability
  • people expected to share a room can’t because of disability
  • no reasonable alternative accommodation has been offered

It doesn’t exempt households who need an extra room for medical equipment or for overnight carers for disabled children. Or parents who are not their children’s main carer, or their children are away studying or in young offenders’ institutions.

All the exemptions rely on tenants being aware of and proving that they are exempt – not an easy task – in Nottingham our campaign is still coming across bedroom tax tenants who have not been made aware that they are eligible for a refund because of the pre-1996 tenant loophole confirmed in January 2014, or are having to fight to get a refund from Nottingham City Council.

The Labour-dominated city council doesn’t even ensure tenants are aware they can apply for Discretionary Housing Payment before taking them to court for bedroom tax arrears.  Also Advice centres who could support tenants are already working at full capacity and at least one advice centre in Nottingham no longer helps tenants complete the new eight page DHP application forms.

Critically the bill does not challenge the fundamental principle of the bedroom tax: if someone does not leave their home, their housing benefit will be cut and they will be expected to use money meant for food and bills to cover their rent.

While it brings hope, publicity about the Affordable Housing Bill is confusing and potentially reduces active support for bedroom tax campaigns.

“There will be no evictions from council run properties… as a result of the bedroom tax.” Milan Radulovic, leader of Nottinghamshire’s Broxtowe borough council made this commitment in April 2013 and has kept to it. With 17 Labour, 17 Conservative and 10 Lib Dem councillors, it shows that councils can be pushed if some councillors are prepared to take a lead. But this is not enough. They are still implementing the bedroom tax though not evicting.

Labour has a majority in local government, they could stop the bedroom tax tomorrow if all their councils made similar announcements. They should cancel all bedroom tax debts, using reserves in the short term and launch a mass campaign with unions, campaigners, community groups, disabled groups and others to demand the shortfall from the government.

Scrap the Bedroom Tax Defend Council Tax Benefit Nottingham press release over City court summons to tenants


For Immediate release
Scrap the Bedroom Tax Defend Council Tax Benefit Nottingham:                                       
Cathy Meadows 07913476905
 

Local campaign group calls meeting with Nottingham City Council over bedroom tax pre-court protocol failures. 

Nottingham and Nottinghamshire Scrap the Bedroom Tax Defend Council Tax Benefits campaign have requested a meeting with Nottingham City Council as a matter of urgency amid concerns that the Council are failing to follow the pre-court protocol for tenants hit with the bedroom tax.  They are concerned that the council is not engaging with tenants who are in bedroom tax arrears, not giving them the information they need, and not trying to make arrangements with them before taking them to court.  In the most recent example a tenant who is less than four weeks in arrears and whose arrears have been decreasing since January, has received a court summons for possession of their home from the council.

This is the second time the campaign group has requested in writing, a meeting with councillors, as well as previously making a verbal request.
 
Ends
Notes for Editors
[1] The council are applying to the court for Possession Orders, which give them permission to evict residents who can’t keep up with Bedroom Tax and/or Bedroom Tax arrears payments.  Social housing landlords must follow a pre-court protocol.  Tenants have the opportunity to put their case at the court hearing but do not receive legal aid to fund a solicitor to represent them in court. 
 
To contact Scrap the Bedroom Tax Defend Council Tax Benefit Nottingham contact:

07521 569 622 / 0791 347 6905
defendcounciltaxbenefits@yahoo.co.uk
http://www.facebook.com/#!/groups/450355785005204/
https://twitter.com/defendbenefits tweet us defendbenefits

Bedroom Tax Protest at Nottingham Crown & County Court – Thursday 21st November 2013 – 1pm


Stop Bedroom Tax Evictions – Nottingham Court Protest

Nottingham Crown and County Court
Opposite Broadmarsh Bus Station
Thursday 21 November
1 pm – 1.45 pm

On Thursday 21 November, the court hearing will decide whether to grant a possession order* (see over) to Bedroom Tax tenants – paving the way for evicting some of the most vulnerable people in Nottingham

Our campaign has repeatedly asked Nottingham City Council to follow the example of Broxtowe Borough Council and agree not to evict tenants in arrears because of the Bedroom Tax. The city council has refused to do this and have now made a claim for possession against some tenants in Bedroom Tax arrears.

We need to show Nottingham City Council that the people of Nottingham are against Bedroom Tax evictions

Your presence is important. Come along and show your support.

Download flyer: https://nottssos.files.wordpress.com/2013/11/dctbc-11.pdf

Contacts: Find out more about the campaign
Phone: 07521569622 / 0791 347 6905
Email: defendcounciltaxbenefits [at] yahoo.co.uk
Web: http://defendcounciltaxbenefits.blogspot.co.uk
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/333226320103342/

Council Tax Don’t Pay campaign meeting on Wednesday, 14th August 2013 at Sumac Centre, Nottingham + reports


Here are some reports of the court appearance of Council Tax protestor Ross Longhurst:


http://www.nottinghampost.com/Pensioner-told-pay-council-tax-protest/story-19634230-detail/story.html

http://nottingham.indymedia.org.uk/articles/5876

http://nottingham.indymedia.org.uk/other_medias/5880

Also see this report on rent arrears brought about by the Bedroom Tax:

http://www.nottinghampost.com/Bedroom-tax-blamed-council-house-arrears-hit-2m/story-19641981-detail/story.html

There is a rising tide of mass resentment against the Government’s austerity programme.

To take the Council Tax Don’t Pay campaign further, come to the meeting at 19.30 on Wednesday, 14th. August at the Sumac Centre, 245 Gladstone Street, Forest Fields, Nottingham.

CAN’T PAY, WON’T PAY! CANCEL YOUR COUNCIL TAX PAYMENTS TODAY!

Background from the ANTI-AUSTERITY ACTION campaign:

DON’T PAY COUNCIL TAX, SUPPORT COUNCIL TAX PROTESTOR!

Thousands of people in Nottingham are not paying the Council Tax because they can’t afford it. The policies of the Coalition Government are forcing millions of people into poverty. The cuts in vital local services imposed by Labour-controlled Nottingham City Council are making worse the problems faced by people on low incomes.

CAN’T PAY, WON’T PAY!

* Falling incomes, rising prices

* Bedroom Tax, Council Tax Benefit cuts, welfare benefit cuts

* Rising Council Tax, cuts in local services

It was rich bankers who created this economic mess but ordinary people are being forced to pay.

Now is the time for us to hit back at the politicians who serve the rich.

CANCEL YOUR COUNCIL TAX PAYMENTS TODAY!

ANTI-AUSTERITY ACTION
Contact: antiausterity@talktalk.net

No Bedroom Tax evictions in Nottingham! Lobby Monday 8th July 1pm Nottingham Council House


No Bedroom Tax evictions in Nottingham!

Lobby Monday 8th July 1pm Nottingham Council House – organised by Notts Defend Council Tax Benefits Campaign.

Nine UK councils (including Broxtowe Borough) have said they will not evict people who cannot pay their rent because of the Bedroom Tax – We can get Nottingham City Council to do the same.

Under the “Under Occupancy Charge” (Bedroom Tax), the government is taking 14% or 25% off peoples’ Housing Benefit if they live in social housing (council or housing association) and have one or more “spare” bedrooms.

* The Bedroom Tax unfairly hits people with disabilities, carers, parents with part-time custody and young people who are forced to share bedrooms.

* The Bedroom Tax is a cut in Housing Benefit, which is claimed by some of the poorest in the community including part time workers, low waged and people unable to work because of their health or disability.

* It does nothing to help those who claim Housing Benefit because they are out of work, or because they are so poorly paid that they need to claim help with housing costs.

* It will not bring down the Housing Benefit bill which is big because of high rents – mainly in the private sector but now social landlords can charge 80% of the market rate.

* Even if people are able and willing to downsize, according to the Evening Post there are only 35 one bedroom properties available in Nottingham for the 6,000 people affected by the Bedroom Tax to move into. Social housing is in short supply because of a lack of investment by the government over many years.

Whilst the Bedroom Tax is a national scheme, local councils have to implement it. Nottingham City Council say they are not in favour of the scheme. We believe the only way to stop the scheme is to fight it. If all Councils against the scheme take the following action, it will force the government to re-think the Bedroom Tax:

· Refuse to evict people who can’t pay their rent because of the Bedroom Tax. The process of evicting someone from their home is long, complex, expensive (it costs £6,000 per household) and extremely stressful.

· Rather than using resources in this way, we say Nottingham City Council should use its reserves to build a campaign in Nottingham to pressurise the government to scrap the Bedroom Tax. We believe this campaign would be supported by the majority of people in Nottingham – many of whom are unaware of the changes.

· Nottingham City Council should also redesignate properties as having fewer bedrooms to limit the effects of the Bedroom Tax

· Use its influence on the boards of many housing associations to prevent them from evicting people because of the Bedroom Tax

At the Council meeting on Monday July 8, the council will be discussing how they will be implementing the Bedroom Tax.

Lobby Nottingham City Council on July 8!

For more information please contact Notts Defend Council Tax Benefits Campaign: Defendcounciltaxbenefits [at] yahoo.co.uk

Telephone 07505 135 807 / 0791 347 6905

“No evictions” petition to City Council, for Bedroom Tax arrears


“No evictions” petition to Nottingham City Council for Bedroom Tax arrears:
http://ncclols.blogspot.co.uk/2013/06/no-evictions-petition.html

See also: http://nottsbedroomtax.wordpress.com
https://www.facebook.com/MeadowsAgainstBedroomTax

Further meetings arranged for the Defend Council Tax Benefit Campaign


Further meetings arranged for the Defend Council Tax Benefit Campaign:

Thursday 13 June 2013 at 7.30pm at the International Community Centre, Mansfield Road, Nottingham.

Tuesday 18 June 2013 at 7pm at the Chase Neighbourhood Centre, Robin Hood Chase, St Anns, Nottingham.

Occupy Nottingham returns – photos from Saturday 6th April


Saturday afternoon with Occupy Nottingham, photos via Nottingham Indymedia:
http://nottingham.indymedia.org.uk/articles/5549