Council tax confusion.

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SteveX

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Council tax confusion.

  • on: 03 Apr 2013 08:14PM
Hello friends.

I just wondered if anyone knew how you find out what you are supposed to pay towards the council tax with the new rules?

I saw on my local news that our council are charging the most they can 26-27% I think and they said the letters went out last week.

I've had no letter, I'm on housing benefit and ESA WRAG, I have no savings at all (yes £0) and I worry that if a bill for £xx drops on my mat one day, I won't have the money to pay. 

I don't want to phone the council, I hate using the phone, I have checked their website but I was more confused than ever after reading it.

I really have no idea what I'm supposed to pay now.   help?
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auntieCtheM

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Re: Council tax confusion.

  • on: 03 Apr 2013 08:39PM
If I were you Steve I would wait until you get a letter telling you that the rate will be changing.  No point in getting worked up earlier than necessary.

However, I expect someone will pop in here soon who knows what is going on.

Fiz

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Re: Council tax confusion.

  • on: 03 Apr 2013 09:15PM
No, there is no set limit. It is totally up to each council to decide what they are going to charge. The highest I have seen on forum posts is 30%. My LA is charging 8.5% but protecting anyone on DLA so I won't have to pay anything on mine still. It's awful it really is, I put people on JSA who have no additional income like DLA, I don't know how they can possibly come close to managing.

devine63

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Re: Council tax confusion.

  • on: 04 Apr 2013 02:17AM
Hi Steve

[before I say this - I don't approve of the changes to Council Tax!]

if you want reassurance call them and ask why you have not received a letter.

Even if you do now have to pay something, just like everyone else, you can ask for a monthly payment plan so you don't have to pay it all at once.  That won't make it easy, but should help a bit.

Also contact your council and ask how you go about claiming any possible help with paying this new bill [there may not be any, but always worth asking, some councils may use some of their discretionary fund for this]
regards, Deb

swilliam

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Re: Council tax confusion.

  • on: 06 Apr 2013 09:16PM
As already mentioned, each council is different.  My LA are charging 30% with no concessions for the disabled; in addition they set one of one of the highest council tax rates in the UK.

Here is an example of one tenants position :

Mr and Mrs X live in a four bedroom house (Band D) with two children. One of the children lives with them five days a week, but is not on their ESA claim (rules laid out in the child courts). Mr X is disabled on HRC and HRM and requires a separate bedroom (supported by GP, Consultants and MacMillan cancer care specialist). So in effect they are fully occupied.

However, under the bedroom tax rules they have to find £37.50 per week rent ( 25% of £150 per week) plus £8.23 shortfall in council tax. A total of £45.73.  The council have said they can use their DLA, unfortunately, this particular council feel DLA is a bonus benefit that can be used for a raft of niceties not associated with dying or its intended use.  They will live in the house until eviction, which is predicted to be around June/July if the rent shortfall is not paid from April 1.

They are many others in my area with similar tales. Those on JSA who cannot find any work don't stand a cats hell in chance of finding £10 a week, let-a-alone £45.73 per week. 

There is no answer to this, all one can hope for is country wide discontent, a few more social commentators like Owen Jones to fight for their rights, and some kind of U-Turn by the government.
« Last Edit: 06 Apr 2013 09:18PM by swilliam »

devine63

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Re: Council tax confusion.

  • on: 06 Apr 2013 10:47PM
Hi Swilliam

if still within the time limit (i.e. time since the decision was made) it might be possible to get a Judicial Review of the Local Authority's decision "My LA are charging 30% with no concessions for the disabled"  or the decision "The council have said they can use their DLA, unfortunately, this particular council feel DLA is a bonus benefit that can be used for a raft of niceties not associated with dying or its intended use."

Has anyone tried getting a local Law centre to look into this?   
regards, Deb

swilliam

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Re: Council tax confusion.

  • on: 06 Apr 2013 11:26PM


Has anyone tried getting a local Law centre to look into this?   
regards, Deb

One underfunded CAB, under new legal aid guidelines serving over 8000 HB claiments.  Who can only offer 10 mins advice.


Taking up prayer and buying a lottery ticket offers more hope unfortunately :( But isn't that what was intended when the legal aid system was re-structured, remove advice in order to bring about welfare reforms unchallenged ?

devine63

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Re: Council tax confusion.

  • on: 07 Apr 2013 10:54AM
Hi Swilliam

Your local law centre might not be in your local town / city but still worth contacting the nearest one for advice - see
http://www.lawcentres.org.uk/ 

regards, Deb

swilliam

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Re: Council tax confusion.

  • on: 07 Apr 2013 12:51PM
Hi Swilliam

Your local law centre might not be in your local town / city but still worth contacting the nearest one for advice - see
http://www.lawcentres.org.uk/ 

regards, Deb

I'll pass the details across, but I doubt they will have the motivation to make contact (although their nearest looks to be around 70 miles away).  Like many victims of the welfare reforms, and negative press coverage; they dont have the will to fight it.

devine63

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Re: Council tax confusion.

  • on: 08 Apr 2013 11:40PM
yes I understand,  but if people cannot find the will to fight, nothing will change

regards, Deb