Council tax support cuts to hit worst-off

York Press: Stamp Out Poverty Stamp Out Poverty

COUNCIL tax benefit claimants in York will see their support cut by up to 30 per cent next year in a move that has been criticised for hitting the city’s poorest people.

Following a heated debate, councillors voted to go ahead with capping council tax at 70 per cent after Whitehall funding to the authority was cut by £1.3 million next year, as a new Council Tax Support (CTS) scheme replaces the current benefit system.

About 12,500 people in York currently claim council tax benefits. However, 6,500 pensioners are protected under the funding plans. The remaining 6,000 people are due to have their council tax benefit cut by up to 30 per cent in 2013/14 in order to make the savings.

Speaking at the debate at Guildhall, Labour councillors said they felt their hands were tied by the scale of Whitehall funding cuts but they criticised the coalition Government for a raft of benefit cuts and reforms which consistently “attack” the very poorest people.

Conservative councillors abstained from the vote as they said they did not have long enough to prepare, but they were loudly criticised by opposing councillors who said they had six weeks to prepare and called “shame on you”.

Labour councillor Janet Looker said: “I would say no party which I would be part of should make choices which should seek to make all their savings by attacking the poorest”. She said she was deeply concerned about the future of the city as the support networks people had always thought would be in place were being “cut away”.

Council leader James Alexander said: “This is an attack on the working poor.

“It’s wrong to attack peoples’ spending powers to get the economy moving.”

An amendment put forward by Coun Andy D’Agorne, of the Green Party, to cap the cuts at 8.5 per cent through making savings in council services and creating a hardship fund for those worst affected was lost after it was questioned where the money would come from.

Liberal Democrat Nigel Ayre said that reasoning was flawed, as funding to give council workers the living wage was also coming from an “unspecified place”.

Conservative Joe Watt said: “I don’t know a single councillor who would wish any more hardship on the poor and needy.”

But, he added: “We have to live within our means. We cannot over burden with taxation.”

Speaking after the meeting, Coun Julie Gunnell, cabinet member for corporate services, said there would be a “safety net” of financial assistance for the most vulnerable people with the York Financial Assistance Scheme due to come into action next year.

Comments (8)

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9:16am Mon 17 Dec 12

Oaklands Resident says...

The Council was offered transitional funding by the government which would have substantially reduced the maximum Council Tax benefit reduction that individuals could have suffered…… But they turned it down in the same way that they dismissed the additional grant that was available this year to freeze Council Tax levels.

They look likely to do the same for the forthcoming year as well.

It’s a cynical move which results in the kind of bogus headlines that we see in the this article.

Labour could help the less well off but they choose not to do so.

Why? So that they can blame the coalition government and score a few political points.

Labour have had plenty of time now to refine the way in which the benefits system is operated in York.

Less bureaucracy would mean that more is available to help needy claimants. They haven’t even made a start on reform.

Meanwhile they squander money on” arts barges”, trips to Cannes and poor quality light shows and fireworks displays. All paid for by increased borrowing and a rising debt burden.

That’s the scandal that The Press ought to be exposing.

In any event, the amount that people, earning under £10,000, pay in tax is being reduced again in the New Year.

That’s the kind of good news for the poor that the media choose not to highlight.
The Council was offered transitional funding by the government which would have substantially reduced the maximum Council Tax benefit reduction that individuals could have suffered…… But they turned it down in the same way that they dismissed the additional grant that was available this year to freeze Council Tax levels. They look likely to do the same for the forthcoming year as well. It’s a cynical move which results in the kind of bogus headlines that we see in the this article. Labour could help the less well off but they choose not to do so. Why? So that they can blame the coalition government and score a few political points. Labour have had plenty of time now to refine the way in which the benefits system is operated in York. Less bureaucracy would mean that more is available to help needy claimants. They haven’t even made a start on reform. Meanwhile they squander money on” arts barges”, trips to Cannes and poor quality light shows and fireworks displays. All paid for by increased borrowing and a rising debt burden. That’s the scandal that The Press ought to be exposing. In any event, the amount that people, earning under £10,000, pay in tax is being reduced again in the New Year. That’s the kind of good news for the poor that the media choose not to highlight. Oaklands Resident

9:18am Mon 17 Dec 12

Micklegate says...

Interesting 'balance' from The Press. The quote one Conservative, one Lib Dem and THREE Labour!

At least it means it's one story James Alexander won't insist should be pulled.
Interesting 'balance' from The Press. The quote one Conservative, one Lib Dem and THREE Labour! At least it means it's one story James Alexander won't insist should be pulled. Micklegate

10:36am Mon 17 Dec 12

asd says...

Boo hoo micklegate because of how many quotes. I think people can make there own minds up whether its 2 quotes form 1 or 2 from another. Fact Is (oakland) the goverment which i believe your paty LIBS are part of are attacking the poorest and dissavantaged in this country, I have proof of this from some autistic people what they are having to endure becasue of your FANTASTIC goverment. As for York City council you are not helping people at all. I know that you will re-catergorise people so they don't fall under the low band and are now middle band and won't get any more help. Stop point scoring people this country is hitting the poor and vunrable the hardest FACT.
Boo hoo micklegate because of how many quotes. I think people can make there own minds up whether its 2 quotes form 1 or 2 from another. Fact Is (oakland) the goverment which i believe your paty LIBS are part of are attacking the poorest and dissavantaged in this country, I have proof of this from some autistic people what they are having to endure becasue of your FANTASTIC goverment. As for York City council you are not helping people at all. I know that you will re-catergorise people so they don't fall under the low band and are now middle band and won't get any more help. Stop point scoring people this country is hitting the poor and vunrable the hardest FACT. asd

11:02am Mon 17 Dec 12

capt spaulding says...

Oaklands resident mentions trips to Cannes.!

If there had not been the exposure on this forum about James Alexanders activities, we would now be mentioning trips to the Phillipines ? which i am very sure cannot now happen.
Oaklands resident mentions trips to Cannes.! If there had not been the exposure on this forum about James Alexanders activities, we would now be mentioning trips to the Phillipines ? which i am very sure cannot now happen. capt spaulding

11:59am Mon 17 Dec 12

perplexed says...

Local Authority Funding is in a mess thanks not only to 'daft schemes' from the likes of CYC but National Government as well. According to a recent analysis by the Institute for Fiscal Studies, if the forthcoming 2013 spending review is replicated as in previous years ,local government will see budgets reduce by more then 40% between 2010-11 and 2017-18.

Furthermore only 55% of council finance directors thought they would take the government’s financial incentive, to freeze next years council tax .Local Government Association Chairman Sir Merrick Cockell (Con), has also pointed out that councils are already set to lose £1bn in funding in 2013-14 through various mechanisms within the new business rate retention system.

While I always enjoy a laugh on a cold winters morning, the political point scoring by some, is not only disingenuous but irrelevant to the poorest and most vulnerable in our city!
Local Authority Funding is in a mess thanks not only to 'daft schemes' from the likes of CYC but National Government as well. According to a recent analysis by the Institute for Fiscal Studies, if the forthcoming 2013 spending review is replicated as in previous years ,local government will see budgets reduce by more then 40% between 2010-11 and 2017-18. Furthermore only 55% of council finance directors thought they would take the government’s financial incentive, to freeze next years council tax .Local Government Association Chairman Sir Merrick Cockell (Con), has also pointed out that councils are already set to lose £1bn in funding in 2013-14 through various mechanisms within the new business rate retention system. While I always enjoy a laugh on a cold winters morning, the political point scoring by some, is not only disingenuous but irrelevant to the poorest and most vulnerable in our city! perplexed

2:45pm Mon 17 Dec 12

bob the builder says...

Oaklands Resident wrote:
The Council was offered transitional funding by the government which would have substantially reduced the maximum Council Tax benefit reduction that individuals could have suffered…… But they turned it down in the same way that they dismissed the additional grant that was available this year to freeze Council Tax levels.

They look likely to do the same for the forthcoming year as well.

It’s a cynical move which results in the kind of bogus headlines that we see in the this article.

Labour could help the less well off but they choose not to do so.

Why? So that they can blame the coalition government and score a few political points.

Labour have had plenty of time now to refine the way in which the benefits system is operated in York.

Less bureaucracy would mean that more is available to help needy claimants. They haven’t even made a start on reform.

Meanwhile they squander money on” arts barges”, trips to Cannes and poor quality light shows and fireworks displays. All paid for by increased borrowing and a rising debt burden.

That’s the scandal that The Press ought to be exposing.

In any event, the amount that people, earning under £10,000, pay in tax is being reduced again in the New Year.

That’s the kind of good news for the poor that the media choose not to highlight.
My first though on seeing this too - any hardship is caused by Labour in York - no one else. They messed up the credit union as well, so that's two fingers to the poor!
[quote][p][bold]Oaklands Resident[/bold] wrote: The Council was offered transitional funding by the government which would have substantially reduced the maximum Council Tax benefit reduction that individuals could have suffered…… But they turned it down in the same way that they dismissed the additional grant that was available this year to freeze Council Tax levels. They look likely to do the same for the forthcoming year as well. It’s a cynical move which results in the kind of bogus headlines that we see in the this article. Labour could help the less well off but they choose not to do so. Why? So that they can blame the coalition government and score a few political points. Labour have had plenty of time now to refine the way in which the benefits system is operated in York. Less bureaucracy would mean that more is available to help needy claimants. They haven’t even made a start on reform. Meanwhile they squander money on” arts barges”, trips to Cannes and poor quality light shows and fireworks displays. All paid for by increased borrowing and a rising debt burden. That’s the scandal that The Press ought to be exposing. In any event, the amount that people, earning under £10,000, pay in tax is being reduced again in the New Year. That’s the kind of good news for the poor that the media choose not to highlight.[/p][/quote]My first though on seeing this too - any hardship is caused by Labour in York - no one else. They messed up the credit union as well, so that's two fingers to the poor! bob the builder

8:30pm Mon 17 Dec 12

PKH says...

bob the builder wrote:
Oaklands Resident wrote:
The Council was offered transitional funding by the government which would have substantially reduced the maximum Council Tax benefit reduction that individuals could have suffered…… But they turned it down in the same way that they dismissed the additional grant that was available this year to freeze Council Tax levels.

They look likely to do the same for the forthcoming year as well.

It’s a cynical move which results in the kind of bogus headlines that we see in the this article.

Labour could help the less well off but they choose not to do so.

Why? So that they can blame the coalition government and score a few political points.

Labour have had plenty of time now to refine the way in which the benefits system is operated in York.

Less bureaucracy would mean that more is available to help needy claimants. They haven’t even made a start on reform.

Meanwhile they squander money on” arts barges”, trips to Cannes and poor quality light shows and fireworks displays. All paid for by increased borrowing and a rising debt burden.

That’s the scandal that The Press ought to be exposing.

In any event, the amount that people, earning under £10,000, pay in tax is being reduced again in the New Year.

That’s the kind of good news for the poor that the media choose not to highlight.
My first though on seeing this too - any hardship is caused by Labour in York - no one else. They messed up the credit union as well, so that's two fingers to the poor!
What in the WHOLE of the country, I did not think they had that much influence. It is NOT just the poorest in York being hit it is nation wide, just remind me which two parties are in power.
[quote][p][bold]bob the builder[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Oaklands Resident[/bold] wrote: The Council was offered transitional funding by the government which would have substantially reduced the maximum Council Tax benefit reduction that individuals could have suffered…… But they turned it down in the same way that they dismissed the additional grant that was available this year to freeze Council Tax levels. They look likely to do the same for the forthcoming year as well. It’s a cynical move which results in the kind of bogus headlines that we see in the this article. Labour could help the less well off but they choose not to do so. Why? So that they can blame the coalition government and score a few political points. Labour have had plenty of time now to refine the way in which the benefits system is operated in York. Less bureaucracy would mean that more is available to help needy claimants. They haven’t even made a start on reform. Meanwhile they squander money on” arts barges”, trips to Cannes and poor quality light shows and fireworks displays. All paid for by increased borrowing and a rising debt burden. That’s the scandal that The Press ought to be exposing. In any event, the amount that people, earning under £10,000, pay in tax is being reduced again in the New Year. That’s the kind of good news for the poor that the media choose not to highlight.[/p][/quote]My first though on seeing this too - any hardship is caused by Labour in York - no one else. They messed up the credit union as well, so that's two fingers to the poor![/p][/quote]What in the WHOLE of the country, I did not think they had that much influence. It is NOT just the poorest in York being hit it is nation wide, just remind me which two parties are in power. PKH

2:41am Tue 18 Dec 12

Magicman! says...

Conservative Joe Watt said: “I don’t know a single councillor who would wish any more hardship on the poor and needy.”

well maybe not a councillor, but the PM and his creepy looking chancellor seem to be intent on doing this.... so as to save having to put more tax on the big companies who give back handers to the conservatives.
[quote]Conservative Joe Watt said: “I don’t know a single councillor who would wish any more hardship on the poor and needy.” [/quote] well maybe not a councillor, but the PM and his creepy looking chancellor seem to be intent on doing this.... so as to save having to put more tax on the big companies who give back handers to the conservatives. Magicman!

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