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Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Rev Paul Nicolson Taxpayers Against Poverty

Haringey Council taken to Supreme Court by Haringey resident.
Case to be heard on Thursday 19th June at 10am (time to be confirmed). Parliament Square, London SW1P 3BD. Westminster underground station or Victoria underground and lake a No 11 or 211 bus to Westminster Abbey stop.
We should fill the court court to show the judges that there is public interest in the case - a demo outside would be good too.
This is a very important case which could influence the way all future government and local government consultations are run.
It is the first ever case to go to the supreme court on the consultation duties of government agencies;
1.we say that local people were not given enough information by Haringey council to make an intelligent response,
2. we seek a declaration that it was unlawful and that Haringey Council does the consultation again.
A press release will be issued by Irwin Mitchell, Solictors.
I have always thought it profoundly unfair that the poorest residents claiming benefits were made to carry all of the 10% reduction in central government CTB funding when an 86 pence a week average increase in the council tax would have funded and kept the 100% council tax benefit. I said so at the time of the consultation but as council tax payer up to April 2013, like all others, I was not included in the 2012 consultation.
I had a hand in starting this case, but I am not the Haringey resident. It dates from Haringey Council's faulty consultation in 2012 about whether or not to introduce their own council tax benefit (now officially called Council Tax Reduction Scheme - CTRS) in April 2013.
The coalition had abolished the national council tax benefit (CTB) and reduced the central government CTB grant to local authorities by 10%.
All councils were free to decide what to do about the CTB. After the consultation Haringey decided to introduce a council tax benefit in April 2013 (CTRS) of 80% leaving the poorest residents pay 20% out of benefits when.
1.benefit increases are were pegged 1% pa and
2 which were also hit by rent since April 2013 due to the bed room tax and the £500 overall benefit limit and the Local Housing Allowance.
3. and while the prices of food, fuel, clothes, transport and other necessities were rising well over 1%.
Information the council knew but did not inform the public.
Haringey now enforces that 20% of council tax against benefit claimants with the addition of £125 court costs and up to £420 bailiffs fees. Some London Councils notably Tower Hamlets and Merton kept the 100% CTB.
Rev Paul Nicolson
Taxpayers Against Poverty

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