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Wednesday, 20 March 2013

What councils don't tell you about the enforcement of council tax

----Preface/link statement begins----
Councillors passing on central government-imposed cuts apparently lack the principles of workfare throughput who get sanctioned for not following orders that they object to. And while councillors can no longer be sanctioned for opposing central government-imposed cuts in public spending, they say that if they did not pass on those cuts, council officers would do so in less benign ways. Anti-poverty campaigner and KUWG friend Revd Paul Nicolson argues otherwise.
----preface/link statement ends----

----Guest blog piece begins----
What councils don't tell you about the enforcement of council tax. 
Millions of people who do not pay the council tax now will be charged 8.5% to 20% from the 1st April. Millions will not be able to afford it; councils knew that when they made those irrational decisions. 
Councils will not tell you;
1. That they have the discretion to write off the tax for vulnerable and impoverished people  under clause 10 (1) 13A (1) of the Local Government Finance Act 2012. It is necessary for the council tax benefit claimant to write a letter to the council setting out their financial circumstances, all debts, and all relevant information such  as health/disability. Payment of the bedroom tax, rent due to the overall benefit tax and the rent due to the housing benefit tax would be relevant.
2. That the bottom line is the income left after rent and council tax needed for food,  fuel, clothes, transport and other necessities; that has to be a reasonable amount if councils (and jobcentres) abide by the Wednesbury Principles as required by law and endorsed by coalition ministers. 
2. That page 9 of the National Standards for Enforcement Agents, published by the Ministry of Justice in 2012,  sets out a procedure for bailiffs to return vulnerable cases from the door step to all creditors, including councils for council tax and courts for fines,  when there are vulnerable, or a change of, circumstance.
3. That Ministers from the DWP, the DCLG and the MOJ all stated during the passage of the Acts of Parliament, which are creating such misery, how concerned they were for vulnerable people; see their statements as recorded in Hansard in the attached file. Councils and Jobcentres should be reminded that is the coalitions policy; even though crocodile's tears come to mind.
The details are on the TAP website. 
Rev Paul Nicolson
Taxpayers Against Poverty
93 Campbell Road, 
London N17 0BF
0208 3765455
07961 177889
also at www.z2k.org 

----guest blog piece ends----

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