The UK is heading for a depth of poverty related ill health not seen for a century. There is no doubt that low income & debt, council tax enforcement & rising rents, are damaging the mental and physical health, risking low birthweight and shortening lives of millions of struggling UK citizens.
Adjusting the Universal Credit has done nothing to improve the inadequate level of income it provides or to halt the vicious enforcement of council tax UC is expected to pay.
The Government has cut £18 billion out of working age welfare and plans another shredding of £12 billion by 2020. Meanwhile Haringey, one out of 289 councils taxing working age benefits,
will have taken a further £33 million in council tax out of working age benefits in the five years since April 2013. That is the date the government started cutting 10% from council tax benefit support paid to councils.
Assuming each of the 289 English councils have extracted an average of £20 million over the five years then a further £6 billion in council tax is added to the central government cuts. To that must be added an estimated £2 million collected by councils to cover the court costs of 3.5 million council tax liability orders a year issued by the magistrates at £115 a time.
The bailiffs are run by private companies who pocket a huge amount from enforcing council tax. I am assuming they are handed 700 cases by each of the 289 councils and rake in a minimum of £75 a case. That equals £75 million over five years. In Haringey they were sent 11,000 cases last year, worth £825,000, mostly with the lowest incomes.
Draconian enforcement of council tax takes place after debts have piled up during a benefit sanction or a zero hours contract. The get their fees from the council tax debtors and can add £235 for a visit and £110 to take control of goods.
These council tax debts are never ending last straws; they are enforced against totally inadequate UK minimum incomes. The cornerstone of the crumbling benefit system is £73.10 a week JSA. It has been reducing in value since 1979.
It equals £317 a month Universal Credit. Mental and physical ill health are the inevitable consequences of enforcing debts against iincomes shrdded by local and national government.
The worst oppression continues; demands for freedom are taking root in the UK.
Rev Paul Nicolson
Haringey Council damages health by taxing working age benefits with council tax.
This Petition runs from 19/11/2017 to 15/01/2018. If we get 2200 signatures from local people it will be discussed by Haringey's full Council meeting on the 16th January 2018. We are hoping for 10,000 signatures or more by the 1st January 2018.
We the undersigned petition the council to We the undersigned asked Haringey Councillors to read and broadcast by all means available the undeniable evidence from the Institute of Health Equity that low income and debt damage mental and physical health, risk low birth weight and shorten lives; and to make plans to stop taxing working age benefits with council tax from April 2019 or sooner.