Poor and Disabled to Pay More in Council Tax
A proposal to increase council tax contribution payments from claimants on benefits and the disabled was narrowly voted through at Havering Council this week, despite vigorous opposition from the Residents’ Association and other groups who proposed no increase (see c tax support speech) .
Despite the outcome of the consultation process giving a firm rejection of the proposals, the scheme was nonetheless voted through by all conservative councillors by a margin of 29 to 24.
The scheme will mean that the annual contribution from those working age people on benefits will increase from 15% of council tax to 25% (Based on Band D property, £249 to £415) and 15% to 20% for the disabled (£249 to £332).
The change will also mean Havering residents will be amongst the schemes across the whole of London that require the highest level of contribution from working age claimants.
The new charges will affect some 9,000 Havering households, and with multiple occupants that is around 30,000 residents. Add in the adverse impact of Universal Credit and the growth of food banks, the picture becomes even worse.
Cllr Barrett, who presented the amendment to retain the scheme as it was, said: “As elected representatives we must do all we can to support our poorest and most vulnerable to the best of our abilities and not use them as revenue raising items. There are plenty of other ways to bridge any funding gap without targeting those least able to pay.”