Nottingham group opposing threat to Council Tax benefit

29/8/2012 update – Nottingham City Council plans to make the maximum council tax benefit payable 80% of the total for working age claimants (to be based on Band B). It will be going up next year, but using this years amount, if you are in Band A it you have to pay £215 and Band B around £250, more in higher bands, instead of a 100% rebate. Details here – They also suggest to reduce the savings cap to £6000 so if you get laid off after April 2013 and end up with more than this in redundancy, too bad. There are other unpleasant changes including stopping back-dating claims.

The Con/Dem Government are cutting funds allocated for Council Tax rebates by 10%. Each local Council is being told to decide themselves where the cuts will fall. In Nottingham, a group of concerned local people are trying to organise a defence against these cuts for vulnerable people and the residents of Nottingham.
Join facebook group:!/groups/450355785005204/

The following document estimates the effect on Nottingham City (listed as Nottingham UA – unitary authorities) which has about 2 in 3 (64%) working age claimants currently receiving Council Tax Benefit, saying,

When the new system of local support for Council Tax is introduced in April 2013 the amount provided to local authorities will be reduced by 10% relative to current expenditure on CTB, saving around £480 million a year. However, characterising this as a 10% cut is disingenuous, as pensioners are in effect excluded from the new system. In terms of the population of working age claimants, who are the only ones that can be affected by new rules, the cut is much larger than 10%.

In Nottingham the effect appears to mean a 16% cut in spending on working age claimants which means that councils will be put under pressure to pass the cut on to these claimants, meaning less benefits and very likely an end to 100% benefit.

A Nottingham City Council website ‘consultation‘ reflects this. This link is still active (but campaigners don’t think it is now being publicised) –
(just press ‘Next’ to look at the questions without answering).

Some news is coming in that some councils may refuse to implement the cut, so pressure should be put on Nottingham City Council not to kick low paid working age residents in the teeth. Non-payment is an option – it is likely many people will say ‘can’t pay, won’t pay’ as they did in the anti-poll tax campaign. Will the council then try and blame non-payers for cuts in services instead of the corrupt economic system?

NCC Lols has some earlier thoughts:

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