Sunday, 23 March 2014

Ross Longhurst to be released

Updated about Ross Longhurst

The Scrap the Bedroom Tax, Defend Council Tax Benefits Campaign group are pleased to say that Ross Longhurst is due for release later this week. 

The campaign group were also asked to make it clear that Ross does not want to be greeted from prison, all he wants to do is to get home.

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Ross Longhurst jailed for protesting against attacks on the poor

Ross Longhurst aged 72 years and a longstanding campaigner has been jailed for 28 days for not paying his Council Tax Ross refused to pay in protest and wrote before his hearing: "For the fourth year running Nottingham City Council are imposing cuts on local services which target the most vulnerable sections of the community such as children and old people.  

This is part of the Coalition Government's war on the poor and the Labour-controlled council are slavishly implementing the cuts.” 

Cathy Meadows, Chair, Nottingham Stop the Bedroom Tax/Defend Council Tax Benefits Campaign gave our solidarity to Ross on Radio Nottingham and to any people who feel so angry at the injustice they are making a stand even not affected themselves.

Cathy made the point that many people are being forced to choose between food, fuel, council tax and rent because of cuts to benefits and cannot afford to pay council tax; that a year ago people whose income was so low that they were considered too poor to pay council tax are now being told to pay yet their income is still low; and from this April, the minimum amount the [massive majority Labour] Nottingham City Council is charging will be 20% of council tax. Cathy made the point that the council should stop harassing people and stop stop sending bailiffs stop threatening people with eviction.

The campaign is clear: The council should not pursue people for council tax or rent arrears if benefit has been cut or if people are now being asked to pay council tax / increased council tax because of the austerity measure
As Cathy made clear; in the short term the council should use its reserves to cover the costs.  The council should be working with the community and trade unions to demand the necessary money from the government

Nottingham Stop the Bedroom Tax/Defend Council Tax Benefits Campaign gives advice to people on a case by case basis to help support them when they receive letters from the council or social landlord including court letters.

On the same day the thisisnottingham website reported that a business man was spared prison after £4m of fake goods were found.  Nottingham Magistrates’ Court sentenced the man to eight weeks in prison, suspended for 12 months.

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Council Tax protester Ross Longhurst could face going to prison.

Later today (13th March 2014) the council tax protester Ross Longhurst, well known for his Robin Hood hat when he is protesting against the Council Tax is due in Magistrates Court over non-payment of council tax.

Last night the spokes person for Scrap the Bedroom Tax, Defend Council Tax Benefits Campaign made this statement.

many people are being forced to choose between food, heating and paying bills because of attacks on Council Tax Support and Bedroom Tax and we give support to anyone who cannot pay the council tax who is now being asked to pay. We are giving advice to people on a case by case basis.

We give solidarity to Ross Longhurst who feels so disgusted by the attacks on benefits that he is making a stand.

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

The immoral maze of Britain's benefits system

The Guardian, Tuesday 25 February 2014
• Zoe Williams laments that the left can't countermand the image of the "not really" disabled by quoting figures (It's the cumulative impact of benefit cuts that is shocking, 20 February). True; but it would help if Rachel Reeves ("tougher than the Tories on benefits") didn't join in the narrative.
Labour councils are persistently pursuing residents who are in council tax and bedroom tax debt – largely the consequence of benefit reforms – with summonses, bailiffs and evictions. This sends a message that those under attack at best aren't worth fighting for and at worst deserve it. A national local council campaign of legal non-co-operation with the council tax support scheme and bedroom tax, backed by community groups and campaigners, alongside a serious demand for David Cameron to make up the funding shortfall, would cut through any existential doubt that such mistreatment was in some way justified, would give hope to those under attack, and pave the way for fighting off other disastrous welfare reforms. If not now, when?
Cathy Meadows 
Nottingham & Notts Scrap the Bedroom Tax Defend Council Tax Benefit

Full article here

Monday, 3 March 2014

Nottingham City Council make 20% cut to council tax benefits

The Scrap the Tax, Defend Council Tax Benefits campaign group were out today campaigning against the 25 Million in cuts to services & benefits.

Residents in the city who are on welfare now face a 20% cut to the Council Tax Benefits they receive. This is roughly £250 a year that people on low incomes and the unemployed in very little benefits will have to find to pay council tax. It is unacceptable that the council should chose to impose these cuts on the residents of Nottingham, especially those who rely on welfare.

Becci Heagney was interviewed
by East Midlands Today
reporter Quentin  Rayner.
Once again the low wage earners and unemployed will be hard hit again after one round of benefit cuts at 8.5% last year, this cut of 20% comes at a time when the Council has increased the rent on its housing stock by more than 17%, these cuts to benefits coupled with the increase in Rent and Council Tax is unacceptable and it is putting people who are already hard hit in to even more hardship unnecessarily.

Nottingham City Council has more than enough reserves to bridge the gap yet they have decided to do the Tories dirty work and have made cuts in welfare benefits. Anyone can become unemployed at any time and may need to access a welfare benefits system that no longer provides the support when needed.

In the cuts to services, the council announced that 76 posts will close to save money, this is at a time where the council have also in the same breath announced that they have taken on 50 apprentices. 

©2014,BBC East Midlands Today.

The Scrap the Tax, Defend Council Tax Benefits Campaign group are holding their next meeting on the 18th March 2014 @ 7pm at the Chase Neighbourhood Centre in St Anns. The meeting is open to anyone who wishes to attend and offers support and information for those who are suffering because of the Bedroom Tax and Council Tax Benefit cuts.