Open letter to the Leader of Haringey Counci: It is a matter of huge regret that you are not fighting with and for the poorest Haringey residents against so much injustice.

2 December 2017

All this will continue for another year after you have been frequently made aware of the undeniable evidence that low income and debt damage mental and physical health and shorten lives.  

Dear Claire,

You are reported by a journal called the Public Sector Executive  as saying:

"Cllr Claire Kober, chair of the LGA’s Resources Board, said: 

“Before councils take legal action, which is used as a last resort, people will have been encouraged to apply for monetary support and efforts will have been made to either attach the debt to a salary or arrange new payment plans.

“Local Government is built on the simple principle that everyone who lives in a community should also contribute to it. This means funding services that we all use through council tax, and it is not fair for the overwhelming majority of citizens that pay their council tax to let those who don’t pay their fair share continue to do so."

That is a very limited view of fairness. 

It is a matter of huge regret that you are not fighting against so much injustice with and for the poorest Haringey residents but taxing them with a grossly unfair council tax and enforcing it against them with costs through the magistrates court and with the bailiffs. 

Here are some other points for you to consider. 

 

It is not fair that; 

  1. Council tax is charged and then enforced by many UK councils against JSA of £73.10 a week (equals Universal Credit of £317 a month) with court costs and bailiffs fees added to the inevitable arrears. while the government turns a blind eye to the trillions shipped out of the UK tax free by the wealthy.

  2. Wealthy owners of a home with equity worth £15 million in Highgate pay only £3000 council tax while a low paid or unemployed working aged tenant in Tottenham pays £1500. 

  3. The poorest tenants groan under the weight of benefits shredded by the government, while paying council tax, rising rents and rising prices; while the landowners and landlords rejoice in decades of un-earned and un-taxed increases in the value of their land. 

  4. Legal action is take by your council "as a last resort" against up to 20,000 households a year out of 27,000 working aged households on benefit paying council tax. You give the bailiffs the mobile phone number of late and non payers and send the bailiffs out 11,000 times; they send an unlimited number of threatening text messages unaware of any impoverished & vulnerable circumstances to which they go. You call this "helping people to pay the tax". Some "last resort" 

  5. The working aged benefits, taxed by council tax, are stopped by a one or three month benefit sanction, by the universal credit and a zero hours contract; but the council continues enforce the tax against the deprived claimants who have other mounting debts.  

  6. Those imprisoned for a maximum of three months for not paying council tax are sheltered and fed by the State. They fare better than those forced into homelessness by shredded and taxed state benefits who are forced into food banks.

  7. Low birth-weight in the most deprived wards of the borough is at third world levels of 10%-12%. The £317 a month Universal Credit paid to a single mother is already too low to provide a healthy diet and all other necessities. Taxing it with council tax adds to the risk of low birth-wieight and therefore of permanent developmental brain disorder.  

  8. There is a post code lottery in England with 37 out of 326 council's paying 100% council tax support to working age benefit claimants; others pay 91.5% to 70% council tax support. That drives a coach and horses through your great principle "Local Government is built on the simple principle that everyone who lives in a community should also contribute to it. This means funding services that we all use through council tax,"

  9. The poorest pensioners are let off 100% of the council tax why not the poorest men, women and children. They all get a personal tax allowance which lifts them out of income tax; for the poorest that is spoiled by the council tax they often cannot pay. 

  10. All this will continue for another year after you have been frequently made aware of the undeniable evidence that low income and debt damage mental and physical health and shorten lives.  

With good wishes. 

Paul Nicolson

 

 

TAP DEPENDS ON SUPPORTERS - PLEASE CONSIDER A

MONTHLY CONTRIBUTION - THANKS

from the Reverend Paul Nicolson

Taxpayers Against Poverty

No citizen without an affordable home and an

adequate income in work or unemployment. 


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