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New Council Tax Rules from April

I wonder if there any people on here that will be affected by the new Council Tax changes come in this April, where central Government are shifting the responsibility to local Government(Councils)to basically manage on less money as they are cutting the budget. This will result in local councils having  quite a bit less money to go round. They in turn are deciding (not all I believe, but many?)to take that money back from people who currently are exempt from paying any(out of work)and low paid working people.

Not sure yet what our city council here are doing, but don't have much faith in their abilities, so anticipate they will pass the charges on to residents. My thoughts are, like many people are saying in more national places, to refuse to pay the extra charge, but think this will only work if many of us do this? I already have to pay towards my rent and because it took so many months to process my Housing Benefit, I couldn't face the thought of applying for what's known as a "Discretionary Payment" to get the top up paid as it was even more intrusive and long winded than the original claim. So I have had to manage to pay this top up myself up to now, but if I'm going to be now asked to find yet another payment, well, where will it end?

They reckon that if many people don't pay it, it would cost much more to collect the money later on, if it goes on and on, similar to what happened with the poll tax. So I wonder what other people think about this, if they will find themselves in this position? Just to say, I'm very far from being the type of person who refuses to pay bills of any kind, but I've already had so much grief over becoming disabled in past few years, losing some money, being put through horrenduos things, being unable to work, being unable to get work/employers take me on, that I've got to the point where I need to take  a stand to what's being done to us.


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I don't know enough about the changes to form an opinion that I feel strongly about, but in light of this conversation, people also will need to be aware of the benefit changes too.

Universal credit is coming so those that are on benefits need to be aware.

The responses to this will be very interesting, thanks for starting the discussion.
Sarah V inactive
Let's hope that like the Poll Tax. this will help to bring down this awful Government
Marion F
Amen to that!! I'm prepared to march/protest/whatever it takes, ss much as physically able.
Steve N
have have 2 girls 0ne 13 one 10 and i have been told they have to share a room then i have to pay £64 a month for the spare room  don,t have i have worked from the age of 141/2 and the last 3 years i have become unfit to work and now classed as disabled i am now 57 and i have had to fight for every penny i can only just get by oh well lets see how we go in aprill
Margaret L
That is awful Steve.i have my daughter and two granddaughters living with me so am exempt but as soon as she finds her own place I will have to pay for two spare bedrooms.Also if you go to the council and ask to be placed in a smaller house there isn't any so you are stuck.The new rules even apply to foster carers because the children they take in are not considered permanent residents.I know many people won't agree but why should pensioners be exempt,there are many living in 3 bed room houses which would be better suited to families.
I don't know much about it yet but will document myself to try and get an opinion supported by some facts.

In principle I would say it makes sense to do something about the current rules/schemes that DO NOT encourage people to work,instead it would encourage claiming benefits.

Of course help should always be available for those that cannot really get a job, specially disabled etc.....

I'd like to see a fair system in place also amd understand where all the money saved would go : I'm worried that the all the new changes seems not to be supportive towards those that have worked,are working very hard and always paid towards their high taxes, mortgage and private pension.

This could sound mean but I feel those working hard and making big sacrifices are just slightly better off than all the others.

It looks as if the changes are planned during a night out at the pub! Not too much thinking around it :(
I don't find it surprising that if you live on any benefits that your expected to make changes... Such as consider a lodger to make up for the fact the council can't magically make a smaller house for you. By being funded by the state, you are therefore property of the state surely?
Heather M
I consider myself lucky that I have been able to work until retirement and have not been dependant on the state. However, it has not been easy and for many years I have had to have lodgers or students to make ends meet. There is a shortage of housing but I think it unfair to charge people for unoccupied rooms but can also understand the thoughts behind downsizing which I will have to do in the next few years.
Roger K

It's PART of what HAS to be done in order to redress some of the dreadful profligacy of previous Left Wing governments and restore a standard of living to the whole nation commensurate with the national ability to earn with exports  and also to bring down the balance of trade deficit let alone the astronomical public borrowing mountain of public and private debt that was "on the books" when the present government came into office..

It is also one of the knock-on effects of open door immigration introduced by Blair's shower to fudge the GDP, a singularly unsuitable indicator of the health of the economic state of a nation in the Global Market, and the desperately need for houses for the people who took advantage of the opportunity to raid OUR resources and hugely overgenerous “benefits" system and who are now churning out kids at an alarming rate quite apart from claiming for – and being paid – child allowances for kids and assorted dependants they CLAIM are left behind in the Old Country..

Then there are the home grown “don't work – won't work” brigade that also breed like rabbits in order to max what they can get in child allowances.

We have come to expect to live at a level way beyond our earning capacity in the global market and this, and a great deal more in the way of cut-backs is essential.  As it is we are like a family living beyond their means and having in the past made up the difference by maxing out a series of credit cards.

Don't blame this government, blame Blair and Brown for turning what was a bad thing into a toxic mess.  The only shame is that the desperately needed cut backs being made are too little at present.

Financially we are a Third World country, insolvent, and bankrupt in all but one detail. 

AS for the Community Charge, it never was a Poll Tax, that was far more fair than the present taxation based on the value of the house that a person lives in. After all, it's people who are a burden on local services, not houses.

To me, the fact they charge (or is it lower benefit paid?) for under occupying a house shows that they're trying to get people to take responsibility for space they, the council, can't afford to leave vacant. It's a form of asking for help but people have this attitude of entitlement that often starts things going down the scapegoat line. This isn't all the council's fault IMO, they're just the easiest to blame because you can't rant at the people abusing the system. Report potentially fraudulant people, that's something we as people can do to help ease things off.
David K
I persume this only applies to council house and not the private sector houses. If you take in lodger and charge that person to make up the shorfall I wonder if the TAX man will tax you or will yoou have your benifits cut again.
The Councile is not being transparent enough and not only that you should get 30 days notice of any changes.
Roger K I agree with you, specially on the rabbit thingy :-) I might be posting an awful comment here but I can't hide the fact people shouldn't have kids if they can't afford it....

Everytime I talk a walk around Anglia Square this jumps straight into my mind......extremely young mothers with 1421412 children and no love for them whatsoever....Of course the children are the victims....

I then realise that if I get the state pension that it will be at the age of 71 (younger ones will get it at the age of 80) and actually I might not get it at all because I've got a private one as well + paying for a mortgage....clearly I'm making a big big sacrifice to pay for these two things.....And I will just be slightly better off compared to those that don't pay into a mortgage and don't pay for their pension.....

Not fair at all ??

I would actually make work the benefit system the other way get benefits (refunds/contributions) towards your mortgage(first home only) and towards your pension (you could get some contributions now already but they are not enough!)
Bruce B
Dear Steve N. You said in part "[I] have have 2 girls 0ne 13 one 10 and i have been told they have to share a room then i have to pay £64 a month for the spare room." Actually you do not have to! That is, they do not have to share a room. Just that you will be looked upon as having a spare room because you could have the two girls in one room. They can have their own rooms but you will pay for one room considered as "spare." This does not mean I agree or disagree with this new council ruling of course!
Susan C
you lot are going to make things worse for yourselves in the long run
Terence B
Absolutely Roger K. Its about time the Labour party' tribal voters reconised where the blame for the financial mess we are in lies.The fact is Gordon Brown was borrowing money just to pay the interest on the loans he had already taken out for much of the time he was chancellor. If you listen to the Labour party's lot you would think that there was just a pit of money somewhere where everyone just took all they wanted.
June M
I can see we have to save money and it doesent affect me as it doesent pensioners anyway and its only basic rate pensioners who get any allowance at all,  Those like me with a small company pension dont get a penny, we are considered "well off!" hmm pardon me Mr Cameron if i disagree.

However i was listening to the report on Channel 4, the other night and it seemed a crazy system,  There was the poor women who has a chronic illness in a wheelchair and has to sleep in a hospital bed, so has a separate bedroom from her husband.  I am sure she would prefer to sleep with him if she could. The tory councilor on there who said they must get a lodger, why the hell should someone HAVE  to get a lodger, i wouldnt want one. I live in a one bedroomed flat,which i own and i wouldnt want to share it with another person,id say a couple need an extra room, my flat often feels too small for me. David Cameron seems very happy to fly around the world giving out our money left right and centre to this and that. Now we seem to be getting embroiled in North Africa, Stop all that and spend it on people here Mr Cameron.
Roger K
This change does not apply to owners of property,  just some people in homes provided and paid for by tax payers.
It is only those funded by the state that are being affected. It should not affect those in private self-funded rented accommodation either.
Emma S
I find the link between those that whinge about being hardest done by, and those that drain the system of the most resources uncanny. Just a thought, getting ready for the thumbs down.
Matthew G
Erm isn't that sort of stating the obvious Emma S?  The people who are hardest up are the people who need the most support and so get the most from the system.  That's exactly how it's supposed to work, isn't it?
I think Emma is talking about the people who are choosing to be drains on the resources... not the ones that need the help. Though finding the difference between the two can be very hard sometimes. People are uncanny liars when they want to be.
Steve N
Bruce B
 that what i was told by the council rep who came to tell us about the new tax that the 2 girls can share till one reachers the age of 16
i would just like to say to the others who have been on about poeple on benifit i did not ask to be like this i would sooner be working i did have a bit of saving as you do working all those years but after 3 years living on benifit it has now gone and £64 a month is my heating bill for the month
                                          i payed N I for 40 years but when i was took ill 4 years ago i had to fight for every penny and when a ask about NI that i had payed they said it only goes on the last 3 years so how the hell do young kids from school get it and poeple who come in this country get with out a fight some tell me i think its time for a good shake up with every thing  rant over
You do not need to justify yourself to us Steve. It is difficult to know everyone's story in full so I really don't know how much of a fight youngsters have in comparison but it is said that older people have had a better start to get work, etc.(I heard this on a BBC radio documentary - Radio 4 I think, may still be on the BBC Player - if I find the link again, I will post it). It wouldn't surprise me if a lot of them are embarrassed about it so don't talk about it.

The show on Radio 4 was called "Generations Apart".
It seems the situations between young and old are remarkably different...

Alexandra G
The problem with taking in a lodger for your spare room is that in most council or private rentals, you aren't allowed to sub let & would have your benefits or even your home taken from you. I know it's a soap, but just look at what's happening with Dot in Eastenders! She has a council house & is renting out rooms, the council say this is not acceptable, even though the money goes towards paying the rent and not in her pocket. The same would apply in the real world. I thinks it's disgusting that the council want to charge people for having extra rooms. If you have kids, they should be entitled to their own room if it's available. Perhaps not as babies/young children, but certainly from secondary school age.
It's going to be such a tough line, as the 'benefit savvy' will always try and screw the system and these are the people who deserve it taken away from them, or at least reduced. Those who are on low incomes but do work, or can't work for valid reasons shouldn't be penalised, but will be, it's inevitable.

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