Defend Council Tax campaigners set to lobby councillors
Nottingham City residents are to lobby councillors attending the Executive Board meeting at Loxley House, Station Street, on 18th December at 12.30pm as the council meets to discuss a proposed new Council Tax Benefit scheme following a city council consultation exercise.
Residents will also rally later in Nottingham's Market Square at 5.30pm
The lobby has been organised by Nott's Defend Council Tax Benefit Campaign whose contribution to the consultation described the proposals as "unworkable" and has been included in the Council's consultation report. Some issues highlighted by the group may be addressed in the final scheme, but the group says the scheme has to go.
Chris Jackson for the group said today "the City needs to keep the current Council Tax Benefit scheme, which is a fully funded scheme based on need, and kick out the new system which will lead to cuts in benefit for the poorest in the city."
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In Nottingham, 42,510 households were receiving Council Tax benefit, with 8,820 in Broxtowe Borough, 9,290 in Gedling and 5,860 in Rushcliffe over the last year.
The current national Council Tax Benefit scheme is being abolished under the Welfare Reform Act. All councils in England must bring in their own scheme from April 2013, with less funding. The Government aim is to save around £410million in England approximately 10% of current costs. In Nottingham and Nottinghamshire the cut is around £13.29 million. For the City Council the shortfall is closer to 15% of what the City council pays out in Council Tax Benefit at the present time.
The proposals being discussed by Nottingham City Council's at Tuesday's meeting include:
"Every working age person and their partner would have to pay at least 20% of their Council Tax bill.
"Council Tax Benefit would be based on a maximum of a band B property. Therefore, if one member of a couple worked and one did not and the working person lost their job – they would pay If in a band D property £606.92 a year – 11.67 per week – a massive 37% of their council tax.
"If a person and/or their partner have savings above £6,000, they will not be entitled to any council Tax Benefit.
"No claims will be backdated.
"The council is also considering stopping Council Tax benefit if the amount due to a recipient is less than £2 or £4 a week."
Anyone wishing to get involved and support the 'Defend Council Tax Benefits Group should just turn up on the day, or you may contact them by phone: 07505135807, or by Email at email@example.com