We are looking for Casework Support Volunteers to join the team at our Queens Park office, W10 4JL. For a job description, more information about the role and how to apply please click here.
If you have any questions regarding the post ring Catherine on 02072590801, selecting option 2. The application closing date is 14 August 2015.
We were really pleased to note the positive response to our recent update report on the impact in London of the abolition of Council Tax Benefit. For Z2K, an organisation founded in response to the injustice of the Poll Tax in the early 1990s, the re-introduction of taxes on the social security benefits of those who are out of work, takes us back to our roots. Our findings from the second year of “localisation” of Council Tax Support show that many of the concerns we raised during the Local Government Finance Act’s passage through Parliament in 2012 are now coming to pass. More and more claimants are being charged more and more tax they simply cannot afford from meagre benefits.
Our report last year noted that several London boroughs had established “Hardship Funds” to help those struggling to meet their new bills for Council Tax. However, it also revealed that most of these had been substantially underspent, and in some boroughs, only a handful of applicants to these funds had been successful. It was clear already last summer that local authorities needed to be much more pro-active in promoting these Hardship Funds to applicants who might benefit from them, and also ease the restrictions which made it so difficult to access the money. This was confirmed on a national scale by the LGA who found that 76 per cent councils with funds spent less than half and ten awarded nothing at all. Continue reading
Z2K and Child Poverty Action Group are today publishing Too Poor To Pay, a new report that examines the impact of localised Council Tax Support in it’s second year. The report is an update on last years A new poll tax? and looks at how London’s council tax support schemes have changed over the past year and what the impact has been on low income Londoners.
When CTS was localised the government cut funding by 10 per cent. The majority of councils plugged the gap by starting to charge council tax of up to £380 per year to low income households. In 2014/15, 24 of 33 London boroughs continued to levy such a charge while some increased their charges. Continue reading