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Wednesday, 21 January 2015

LGA info toward questions for 2015 General Election candidates

Local Government Association info toward questions for 2015 General Election candidates

By Dude Swheatie of Kwug

While it might be difficult to facilitate real safe contact between some parliamentary candidates and benefit claimants through getting candidates to stand with us in our solidarity visits to jobcentres and such places where poor people are not properly served, Revd Paul Nicolson of Taxpayers Against Poverty has written Lord Heseltine regarding what is really going on. A brief extract from that letter in response to Heseltine's argument that Church of England Archbishops have spoken out unwisely against UK poverty may help to inform and provide food for parliamentary candidates' thought.

The Local Government Association recommended in January 2015 that the next government;

  1. Fully fund council tax support, acknowledging that the scheme to date has taken millions of pounds out of funding for council services, and has increased the cost of living for some of the poorest.
  2. Analyse the combined impact of all welfare reforms, including council tax support, at a local level, publish the results of this work, and take this impact into account in any future welfare reforms, and future local government funding settlements.
Trying to extract any tax from £72.40 adult unemployment benefit was doomed to failure from the start so; it results in a cut in local authority funding because it cannot be collected. All unemployed adults receive £72.40 or less while Children’s and disability benefits are added; when a disabled person fails the Work Capability Assessment their income is reduced to £72.40; there are 4.1 million benefit claimants affected (3). Since April 2013 many benefit claimants have had to pay rent and council tax out of that £72.40; (3)

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