Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/729/15004

From The Socialist newspaper, 8 August 2012

Brighton pensioner jailed for non-payment of council tax

Bill North, Socialist Party, and former chair of Brighton and Hove Anti-Poll Tax Federation

In 2011 Brighton and Hove became the first local authority in Britain to be run by the Greens. The Green manifesto looked forward to "a just and equal city where everybody is treated with kindness, respect and dignity".

On Thursday 26 July Brighton and Hove city council successfully applied to have Josephine Medhurst, an 80 year old pensioner, jailed for ten days for non-payment of council tax. Family members told the Socialist Party that the bill - around 3,000 - was incurred by her deceased husband over a decade ago.

Green voters might well be asking: "Where's the dignity in that?"

At an earlier hearing magistrates found that Mrs Medhurst's non-payment was due to "culpable neglect" and told her to pay the totally unrealistic amount of 20 a week. When she couldn't make the payments they jailed her.

A council spokesman claimed that "repeatedly over a number of years" the council had tried to help; and no doubt Green councillors will point out that the case was started by the previous (Tory) administration. But that is completely irrelevant. Mrs Medhurst is in prison because of the actions - or lack of actions - of the Green-led council which could have stopped the court case at any time over the last year.

So what has been achieved by jailing Mrs Medhurst? She doesn't have the money, her family don't have the money and the council doesn't have the money. Once a debtor has been imprisoned there's no further action the council can take to enforce payment. The most that the council - to its shame - could expect to gain was to frighten her and her family.

Benefit cut

All this has happened during the same month that the Green council has published its "preferred alternative" to the coalition government's plans to abolish the national system of council tax benefit.

Con-Dem plans would mean a 2.5 million cut in council tax benefit locally. The Green's "preferred" response would mean that everyone below pensionable age would be charged at least 10% of the council tax.

In one way this is worse than when Thatcher brought in the hated poll tax at the end of the 1980s. At least then the Tories brought in a token increase in benefits, pretending it would compensate the poorest in society. The Greens have come up with their proposals at a time when benefits are actually being cut!

There can be no doubt that more people would fall into debt. How many of them would the Greens be willing to put in prison?

Before last year's council elections Brighton and Hove Socialist Party warned the Green Party that by refusing to challenge government cuts they would be forced into attacking local services. We rejected their argument that the best they could do was protect the vulnerable (although even we did not predict that they would try to 'protect the vulnerable' by sending some of them to prison!).

We called on the Greens, and every councillor claiming to oppose the cuts, to build a movement in Brighton and Hove and help build a campaign nationally to demand a restoration of the cuts in funding.

We called on them to set a budget to reflect the needs of the city's population, not the dictates of the cold-hearted Tories and their Liberal Democrat playthings. Instead, the Greens have allowed themselves to become licensed bullies, trying to intimidate working class people in an effort to raise council tax revenue.

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.


In The Socialist 8 August 2012:


Socialist Party news and analysis

Our health not their wealth!

End the insane cycle of youth joblessness

Council tax benefit cuts

March together on 20 October and then strike together to stop all cuts

Sean Rigg inquest: damning verdict for police

Gove sneaking unqualified teachers into academies

Them & Us


London Olympics

Views on the Olympics and the opening ceremony

Transport 'customer experience' staff still fighting for Olympics bonus


Socialist Party workplace news

Vote No in Unison's local government pension scheme ballot

Swansea DVLA staff protest at embarrassment of job cuts

Support Churchill cleaners, Tyne & Wear Metro

Workplace News in brief


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Interview with Southampton rebel councillors

TUSC: Keeping up the pressure on the austerity parties

Socialist Students organise to fight fees and cuts

Workers win Wales Austerity Games despite bosses moving the goalposts!

Growing resistance to NHS cuts shown in Redditch

Portsmouth fans fight to save Fratton Park

Brighton pensioner jailed for non-payment of council tax

Welsh Labour: Red flag or white flag?

Obituary: Frank Mills, 1939 - 2012


International socialist news and analysis

Syria: Is there an alternative to the developing civil war?

Markets force savage austerity measures on Spanish workers

Trial resumes of Kazakhstan human rights activist


 

Home   |   The Socialist 8 August 2012   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   PDF  




Related links:

Brighton:

triangleStrike together for better pay

triangleBrighton: NSSN rally at the TUC Congress

triangleSocialist Party PCS conference meeting: How Corbyn could win with socialist policies

triangleDeliveroo victory in Leeds

triangleDeliveroo cedes ground in Brighton dispute

Tax:

triangleYoung people being strangled by debts

triangleNasty party imploding...drive out the Tories

triangleThem & Us

triangleProblem gambling soars by 33%

Council tax:

triangleBristol's Labour mayor calls anti-austerity march - now stop making cuts!

trianglePlans to bring A-levels back to Knowsley abandoned

triangleFight Tories' callous cuts pushing 200,000 more kids into poverty

Council:

triangleSheffield Labour council threatens peaceful protesters with prison

triangleUnite local government sector plans strike ballot

Green:

triangleCardiff East Socialist Party: Why you have to be Red to be Green

Benefits:

triangleHousing crisis: Corbyn's positive measures blanked by Labour's right

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

19/10/17

North West

Arriva North West bus drivers strike over pay

18/10/17

Democratic rights

Conference on state spies: who's watching who?

18/10/17

Leeds

Striking back against sackers' charter at Leeds Uni

18/10/17

Royal Mail

Royal Mail bosses block strike - back postal workers

18/10/17

PCS

Balloting members on the pay cap

18/10/17

Art

'Dazzling' Bad Art show points to socialist future

18/10/17

Council

Sheffield Labour council threatens peaceful protesters with prison

18/10/17

South West Wales

Hundreds turn out for rally aimed at removing west Wales Tory MP

18/10/17

NHS

Uprising to save the NHS!

18/10/17

Socialism

Can you donate to the Socialism 2017 appeal?

18/10/17

East London

No cuts - hands off King George A&E!

18/10/17

North London

North London hospital workers fight cuts and job losses

18/10/17

BAE

Nationalise to save jobs at BAE Systems

18/10/17

Schools

Schools "can't go any further" - stop the cuts: set deficit budgets now

18/10/17

Swansea

Socialist Students 'welcome' Hillary Clinton to Swansea

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party

triangle19 Oct Arriva North West bus drivers strike over pay

triangle18 Oct Russia, October 1917: When workers took power

triangle18 Oct Tories torn - bin them now

triangle18 Oct Royal Mail bosses block strike - back postal workers

triangle18 Oct Balloting members on the pay cap

triangle13 Oct The end of the Tories?

triangle11 Oct Nasty party imploding...drive out the Tories

More ...

triangle21 Oct Birmingham: NSSN Solidarity Forum

triangle23 Oct Chesterfield Socialist Party: The continuing struggle for abortion rights

triangle24 Oct Liverpool Socialist Party: The October Russian Revolution 100 years ago to the day

triangle25 Oct Salford Socialist Party: The October 1917 Russian revolution

More ...

Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

Archive

Archives:

October 2017

September 2017

August 2017

July 2017

June 2017

May 2017

April 2017

March 2017

February 2017

January 2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999

Legal

SP RSS feed RSS

Platform setting: = No platform choice

V2