11 February 2013

The case was lost in the High Court on the 7th February but the Judge gave leave to appeal which will be heard in the Court of Appeal on Tuesday 12th February,

Here is a comment about the decision in the High Court last week from a disabled member of TAP who has needed to be on the receiving end of the benefit system for many years and who was in court last week. It is a public hearing so do come if you are free. Justice or injustice should be seen to be done. It will start at 10.30.

"In my personal view as someone who sat in at the start of the hearing on Tuesday and sat through the first 45 minutes of the verdict today, I'd say that the judge in question ignored the issue of people being left to starve, etc. Instead he focused on the fact? that Haringey's procedures for the consultation followed legal Acts laid down by central government and sought to determine that 'everyone paid an equal share'.

My comments are as follows;

There are no "equal shares" about the council tax. It is related to the value of the property and not the size of the taxpayers income. Tenants do not own the property so they are being taxed on someone else's wealth. It is deeply regressive and unfair as everyone knows.

Taking council tax out of benefits is totally disproportionate and even more so when seen in the context of all the other reductions and caps.
There is no attempt in this case to put a legal interpretation on the words in the Act "financial need".

I and all the other council tax payers I have a legitimate interest in all the decisions of the council. I am also effected by all their decisions taken in my name so I vote in elections. The fact that none of us council tax payers were formally consulted seems enough to render the consultation unlawful; but that is not being discussed.

We await the decision by the Appeal Court which may or may not be given tomorrow - Tuesday 12th February.