The government is phasing out council tax benefit. The first step is a 10% cut. In the face of this cut local councils have been asked to draw up proposals to implement this cut. The Brighton & Hove Green council have proposed a decrease of 10% for most current recipients of council tax benefit.The Guardian recently reported that recovering these debts would not significantly improve council finances. And yet the Argus reports that B&H council uses an average of 40 bailiff visits a day. Josephine Medhurst, an 80-year-old woman from Hove, spent 7 days in jail for non-payment of council tax earlier this year.
On top of all the attacks people are suffering at present, this is another straw being loaded onto the camel’s back.
The government aims to significantly reduce local authority funding as part of their austerity measures; this crisis of capitalism is being placed onto the shoulders of the working-class and poor. B&H council must oppose the cuts from central government, and start building a movement to demand the funding is returned.
Those who cannot pay or who face cuts to their jobs or local services, must not face the fury of this government via the council. A movement to defend non-payers, to oppose every service cut, every job cut and to demand a return of all the lost funding can be built locally.
Join the lobby on 13 December 4pm at Brighton Town Hall against the changes to council tax benefit and to tell the government –
‘Give Our Funding Back!’