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From The Socialist newspaper, 16 October 2013

Council tax benefit cuts hit hard

Simon Carter, East London Socialist Party

A report by Labour says that 112 councils in England who responded to a freedom of information request have issued more than 156,000 court summonses to people in council tax arrears since April. Spread over all 326 councils, that figure could rise to close to 500,000.

On 1 April the Con-Dem government ended council tax benefit and replaced it with the mis-named council tax reduction scheme.

Along with this change is a 10% cut in government grants to local authorities. Many councils simply passed on the cut by levying council tax on low-income households who previously were exempt.

For people on the minimum wage or claiming benefits, having council tax imposed on them is a double whammy if also burdened with the hated bedroom tax.

In Labour-run Newham council, Blairite mayor Sir Robin Wales boasts of a '0% council tax increase for the fifth consecutive year'.

So, a millionaire in the London borough has effectively seen their council tax bill reduced, while the poorest in the borough are facing court summonses, unable to pay the newly imposed council tax.

Labour councils

Indeed, Labour's report into council tax arrears, while having a pop at the government, fails to point out that in many cases it is Labour councils who are taking legal action against their poorest residents.

Again, despite Labour's pledge to abolish the bedroom tax, many Labour councils are threatening poor tenants with eviction.

This makes a mockery of Ed Miliband's much vaunted claim at the recent Labour Party conference of tackling the cost of living crisis affecting millions of people.

It reinforces the Socialist Party's argument that Labour represents no real alternative to the current government coalition parties.

That is why working class people should think about standing as Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition candidates in next May's council elections on a 'no cuts' programme.

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In The Socialist 16 October 2013:


Socialist Party news and analysis

Tories' rags and riches Britain; Join the socialist fightback!

Teachers, firefighters, workers fighting back: Unite the strikes!

TUSC: 2014 local elections campaign launched

Immigration Bill: Whipping up racism to cut our services

Council tax benefit cuts hit hard

SSE: So Sodding Expensive!

Fight Tory plans to scrap lifeline for young

Jobcentre staff struggling to cope

'Help to Buy' no solution to housing crisis

Them & Us


Anti-racism

Robinson drops EDL but not his bigotry

Trade union-led anti-racist demo in Liverpool

Bradford anti-EDL protest


Education feature

Why are our schools in crisis?


International socialist news and analysis

Workers and youth re-assert their political voice in South Africa

Sri Lanka - 'No to Chogm' campaign

Refugees perish in Mediterranean "cemetery"


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Join the party for the millions - not the millionaires

Socialism 2013 appeal

Save Kent's children's centres


Socialist Party workplace news

Probation officers to take on 'failing Grayling'

Time for national action on education

Fight the Royal Mail sell-off

Blacklisting victory - now build union strength

Workplace news In Brief


 

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