Wednesday, 20 March 2013

CTB Information Meetings

Unable to pay your 
Council Tax Bill?
Worried about getting 
into council tax debt?

Want to build solidarity with other claimants to fight these cuts?

CTB Information Meetings
information, support, campaign
Every 2 weeks starting Thursday March 21, 7pm

Nottingham and Nottinghamshire Defend Council Tax Benefit Campaign is running regular sessions in the city centre from Thursday 21 March to monitor the impact of Council Tax Benefit cuts, provide information to people who may not be able to pay their bills and invite them to join the campaign.

The Government has scrapped the national Council Tax Benefit scheme and from 1st April this year local councils have to start their own scheme with less money. Under Nottingham City’s new Council Tax Support Scheme, council tax benefit is being cut by 8.5% for all working age claimants and from April 2014, Nottingham City Council proposes a cut of 20%.

Council tax bills are arriving on peoples’ doorsteps this month causing anger, anxiety and distress as many claimants already on the breadline are being asked to pay amounts they can’t afford.  The cuts affect people on low incomes, in part time work, unemployed or unable to work because of sickness (pensioners are not affected at the present time) 

This is not an individual problem for claimants, we need to build solidarity to support people who can’t pay and build a campaign to fight these cuts. 

The sessions are:
7pm Thursday 21 March and every alternate Thursday
International Community Centre
Mansfield Road
For more information (and to check re holidays etc.) contact:

Nottingham and Nottinghamshire Defend Council Tax Benefits Campaign on 07505 135 807 

You can find us on facebook and twitter

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Council Tax Notices

Council sends out notices

As the day draws nearer to the change in the council tax system, people are starting to receive notices like these.

You will note that there's no mention of the discretionary housing payments in the letter despite raising the matter directly with Lisa Black that the council has a duty to make the client aware of the DHP scheme should the client have a problem meeting the increased costs with these changes.

Readers of this blog will know that in January members of the campaign group met with executives of Nottingham City Council to voice concerns over the proposed cuts and reaffirm the campaigns position that the council should not only be fighting the cuts but they should also not be passing any cuts on to those who are on low incomes and welfare benefits.

Despite the hardship that people are facing, the council still raised the Council Tax by 3.4% and the housing costs also rose by a staggering 22% which will further compound the problem when the Bedroom Tax comes fully in to force.

I fail to see how increasing the basic costs of housing is trying to reduce the financial impact on households, if anything, a freeze in these costs would have limited these costs.

The Defend Council Tax Benefits Campaign are opposed to the welfare changes and believe that a fully funded welfare system should be in place. Despite putting this point of view across to the council in a meeting with council executives in January 2013, the council claimed that it has no choice in the matter.

We asked why the council can't use some of the reserves to plug the shortfall but we were told that they can't use the reserves. 

The council are all too willing to pass these cuts on to the poorest in society while claiming that they don't like these cuts but have not choice in the matter. 

Some councils (mainly Tory run councils) are not passing on any cuts arising from the cuts in the welfare system as well as the Welsh Government who have found the £22 Million short fall for its citizens, if other councils are able to find money to plug these shortfalls why not Nottingham City Council?

If you want further information on how these changes may or are going to affect you, please come along to one of our fortnightly meetings. Contact details can be found here: