East Lancashire council tax help cuts 'attack poor'

THOUSANDS of residents of East Lancashire will be paying between £150 and £200 extra each year as part of a major council tax benefits shake-up.

In a sweeping reform of the benefits system, town halls are being given the responsiblity for collecting the handout from April.

But while some have taken advantage of a one-off grant, to reduce the burden others will expect some working-age claimants to pay 20 per cent of their council tax bill – around £200.

County council bosses are also expected to lose out to the tune of around £700,000 in East Lancs and Chorley alone – as district councils adopt their own policies on the benefit but the bulk of the budgetary impact will be felt by the Lancashire authority.

Claimants in Blackburn with Darwen, Hyndburn and Pendle will face the maximum rises, as their councils are passing on the full government cut.

But Hyndburn and Pendle are to introduce a discretionary hardship scheme to try to help the worst-hit.

Pendle Labour leader Coun Mohammed Iqbal condemned the change as a ‘fundamental attack on the poor’.

Conservative council leader Coun Joe Cooney said: “These changes are as a result of us needing to tackle the deficit.”

Burnley Liberal Democrat Coun Anne Kelly said she did not believe finding an extra £3 per week would prove to be too much of a hardship.

Elsewhere councils in Burnley, Ribble Valley and Rossendale have each decided to accept a one-year transitional grant, limiting tax bills to only 8.5 per cent. In Chorley the estimated cost will be just seven per cent.

Defending the scheme, Local Government Minister Brandon Lewis said: “We are cutting council tax in real terms for hardworking families and pensioners.

Comments (6)

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3:41pm Fri 1 Feb 13

mavrick says...

Ear, Heat or pay council tax.????
Ear, Heat or pay council tax.???? mavrick

3:44pm Fri 1 Feb 13

Mothernature says...

Now I wonder why Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council didn't apply for the grant. Is it possible they want people to suffer further hardship and pay more than the 8.5% maximum they could have charged with the transition grant. The council are there to serve US, the people of the borough and they should have applied for this grant to help those suffering financial hardship.
Now I wonder why Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council didn't apply for the grant. Is it possible they want people to suffer further hardship and pay more than the 8.5% maximum they could have charged with the transition grant. The council are there to serve US, the people of the borough and they should have applied for this grant to help those suffering financial hardship. Mothernature

3:53pm Fri 1 Feb 13

english rose 1 says...

Mothernature wrote:
Now I wonder why Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council didn't apply for the grant. Is it possible they want people to suffer further hardship and pay more than the 8.5% maximum they could have charged with the transition grant. The council are there to serve US, the people of the borough and they should have applied for this grant to help those suffering financial hardship.
Easy one to answer that. Because the Council would have had to find at least another £350,000 ON TOP of the other cuts imposed by the Govt. And since BwD Council is the 6th hardest hit Council in the country, that would be very difficult to do indeed.
The Govt grant didn't cover the full cost. Blame the Govt not the Council.
[quote][p][bold]Mothernature[/bold] wrote: Now I wonder why Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council didn't apply for the grant. Is it possible they want people to suffer further hardship and pay more than the 8.5% maximum they could have charged with the transition grant. The council are there to serve US, the people of the borough and they should have applied for this grant to help those suffering financial hardship.[/p][/quote]Easy one to answer that. Because the Council would have had to find at least another £350,000 ON TOP of the other cuts imposed by the Govt. And since BwD Council is the 6th hardest hit Council in the country, that would be very difficult to do indeed. The Govt grant didn't cover the full cost. Blame the Govt not the Council. english rose 1

3:56pm Fri 1 Feb 13

english rose 1 says...

Forgot to add - BwD will be having a discretionary hardship scheme to help the worst affected.
Forgot to add - BwD will be having a discretionary hardship scheme to help the worst affected. english rose 1

4:22pm Fri 1 Feb 13

Mothernature says...

English rose, not disputing what you say, but I cannot accept that without proof. You appear to either work for or have connections to the council, so point me in the right direction to scrutinise the full figures. With regards to the discretionary hardship scheme, how much is the package worth in total, who decides who is the worst affected and what criteria will they use to determine that? Pound to a penny, single people without children (living on £71.70 single persons benefit) will barely get a look in.
English rose, not disputing what you say, but I cannot accept that without proof. You appear to either work for or have connections to the council, so point me in the right direction to scrutinise the full figures. With regards to the discretionary hardship scheme, how much is the package worth in total, who decides who is the worst affected and what criteria will they use to determine that? Pound to a penny, single people without children (living on £71.70 single persons benefit) will barely get a look in. Mothernature

11:06pm Sat 2 Feb 13

2 for 5p says...

what is it £3 a week ? Thats let me see , oh yes 10 fags for a benefit scrounger.
:-()
what is it £3 a week ? Thats let me see , oh yes 10 fags for a benefit scrounger. :-() 2 for 5p

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