Waltham Forest and Barnet have joined Harrow in launching consultations on proposals to cut the level of Council Tax Support (CTS) available to their low income residents.
Barnet’s consultation proposes increasing their 8.5% minimum payment to either 15% or 20%. This could lead to a lone parent with two children in the borough facing a council tax bill of £210, more than double what they are currently expected to pay. Unlike other councils however Barnet does at least present maintaining the current level of support as an option and we hope that is what the majority of respondents will argue for. Continue reading
Jane is a single mother who lives with her 21 year old autistic son, Harry. Although Jane is Harry’s registered carer and he is in receipt of a range of disability benefits, because the housing benefit claim is in her name, Jane is nonetheless affected by the £500 per week benefit cap.
This has seen Jane’s housing benefit reduced by over £100 per week, which has jeopardised both of their accommodation. We assisted Jane to apply for a Discretionary Housing Payment (DHP), which was successful, but Westminster have made this conditional on her contributing £20 per week from Harry’s disability benefits. We are currently helping Jane to challenge this by way of internal review, but are also looking into more permanent solutions. Continue reading
The latest Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) figures have revealed that the number of sanctions for Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) claimants has exploded and were 4.5 times higher in the first three months of 2014 compared to the same period last year.
The DWP quietly published the figures on sanctions for Jobseekers Allowance (JSA) and ESA claimants on Wednesday, most likely with the hope that no one would notice the shocking news they contained. Continue reading