TO HARINGEY CABINET Your imposition of council tax, on top of cuts & caps to social security incomes imposed by central government, is a violent act. It contributes to low birthweight & shortened life
Imposition of council tax, on top of cuts and caps to social security incomes imposed by central government, is a violent act.
HARINGEY CABINET MEETING
Tuesday, 14th November, 2017, 6.30 pm - Civic Centre, High Road, Wood Green, N22 8LE Members: Councillors Claire Kober (Chair), Peray Ahmet, Jason Arthur, Eugene Ayisi, Ali Demirci, Joe Goldberg, Alan Strickland, Bernice Vanier, Elin Weston and Joseph Ejiofor
Statement of the Reverend Paul Nicolson on behalf of the council tax deputation to be said to the Cabinet meeting and
opposing the proposed decision of the Cabinet to continue taxing benefit incomes in 2018/19
Your imposition of council tax, on top of cuts and caps to social security incomes imposed by central government, is a violent act. It contributes to low birthweight, shortened lives, mental and physical ill health among your many impoverished constituents. You know very well that for weeks, sometimes months some households have no income to pay the tax due to the benefits sanction, the zero hours contract and universal credit. You also know that the housing benefit has been cut by the overall benefit cap, by the bedroom tax and by the local housing allowance. You are piling council tax arrears on top of the rent arrears created by Parliament.
Last year 27,947 Haringey residents received council tax benefit, owing £6.9 million from whom £1.1 million was not and could not be collected. Despite knowing the misery caused by the enforcement of both rent and council tax you took 21,000 late and non-payers of council tax to court and sent the bailiffs in 11, 000 times. That adds court costs and bailiffs fees, which double their council tax arrears. You hand the mobile phone numbers of your constituents to Newlyns the bailiffs. They run campaigns of intimidation against vulnerable residents by sending threatening text messages in the morning and at around 8pm.
Time and again since 2012 you have been shown the scientific evidence that debt, low incomes and inability to buy a healthy diet create mental and physical health problems. Three days food from a food bank does not cover a nine month pregnancy. You ignore the fact that some of the wards in Haringey are among the most deprived in the United Kingdom. Low birth weight is at third world levels of 10-12% in Haringey. In those wards there are 20 to 40 tiny babies born every a year with a high risk of lifetime and inter-generational ill health because their mothers could not buy a healthy diet before or during pregnancy. Not satisfied with taxing their shredded social security you also want to demolish their homes. You are abusing your power.
I implore you, I beg you, if you have any respect whatever for the tenets at the heart of all the major faiths, and many humanists, so wonderfully represented in the borough, to love your neighbour as yourself, you will cease the cruel taxation of the shredded social security incomes of the oppressed people of Haringey.
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