Council sends out noticesAs the day draws nearer to the change in the council tax system, people are starting to receive notices like these.
You will note that there's no mention of the discretionary housing payments in the letter despite raising the matter directly with Lisa Black that the council has a duty to make the client aware of the DHP scheme should the client have a problem meeting the increased costs with these changes.
Readers of this blog will know that in January members of the campaign group met with executives of Nottingham City Council to voice concerns over the proposed cuts and reaffirm the campaigns position that the council should not only be fighting the cuts but they should also not be passing any cuts on to those who are on low incomes and welfare benefits.
Despite the hardship that people are facing, the council still raised the Council Tax by 3.4% and the housing costs also rose by a staggering 22% which will further compound the problem when the Bedroom Tax comes fully in to force.
I fail to see how increasing the basic costs of housing is trying to reduce the financial impact on households, if anything, a freeze in these costs would have limited these costs.
The Defend Council Tax Benefits Campaign are opposed to the welfare changes and believe that a fully funded welfare system should be in place. Despite putting this point of view across to the council in a meeting with council executives in January 2013, the council claimed that it has no choice in the matter.
We asked why the council can't use some of the reserves to plug the shortfall but we were told that they can't use the reserves.
The council are all too willing to pass these cuts on to the poorest in society while claiming that they don't like these cuts but have not choice in the matter.
Some councils (mainly Tory run councils) are not passing on any cuts arising from the cuts in the welfare system as well as the Welsh Government who have found the £22 Million short fall for its citizens, if other councils are able to find money to plug these shortfalls why not Nottingham City Council?
If you want further information on how these changes may or are going to affect you, please come along to one of our fortnightly meetings. Contact details can be found here: http://defendcounciltaxbenefits.blogspot.co.uk/p/where-to-find-us.html