‘There appears to be no dispute between the parties about the consequences of charging Council Tax to the poorest and most vulnerable members of society.
‘A report to Cabinet dated 10 July 2012, authorised by Mr Stuart Young, Assistant Chief Executive at Haringey, states
‘”Needless to say it is my belief that this represents one of the most appalling policies of the government and it is not insignificant that the unemployed will now be facing the prospect of having to pay 20% local taxation levels, which they were last subjected to under the Poll Tax.’
‘This is likely to amount to an average additional burden of £5pw, which when put alongside cuts to Working Families Tax Credit, changes to Housing Benefits, and the introduction of Universal Credit is, in my view, likely to have a disastrous impact on the levels of child poverty.”
– Councillor Goldberg states in the report to Full Council on 17 January 2013
“It goes without saying that the actions of the Government with regards to the abolition of Council Tax Benefit are extremely misguided, both in practice and principle.
‘It is important to note that this new tax on the lowest paid households will hit them on the same day as many will be impacted by the overall benefits cap and further cuts to tax credits and other benefits”
Thursday 7th February 2013 in News By Bruce Thain
Solicitors challenging Haringey Borough Council’s changes to council tax benefit have lost their case today.
Justice Underhill ruled in favour of the council meaning changes to council tax benefit will go ahead from April this year.
Solicitors from firm Irwin Mitchell, representing a single mother from Haringey, sought a Judicial Review arguing the council did not conduct a proper consultation of its council tax reduction scheme.
Alex Rook, a lawyer at Irwin Mitchell said:
“We are disappointed with the decision which potentially means that 25,000 of the poorest, most vulnerable, people in Haringey face the prospect of paying council tax for the first time.
“However the Judge has granted permission to appeal the ruling which we hope will take place as soon as possible.”
Under Haringey council’s proposals all households of working age who have previously not paid council tax will have to pay 20 per cent towards their council tax bill.
The changes to council tax benefit are due to government abolishing the benefit and handing control over to all local authorities, while cutting the allowance it gives to councils by 10 per cent.
Currently 25,560 households in Haringey receive support of 100% council tax benefit, meaning they don’t pay anything towards their Council Tax bill.
Haringey wins legal challenge over council tax reforms
By Dominic Browne 7th February 2013
Haringey LBC has won a landmark High Court battle over its council tax benefit reforms, in a case that was widely seen as setting a precedent for the sector.
The local authority was the first of a raft of councils to face legal challenges against their planned council tax benefits changes, after ministers announced the localisation of the system coupled with a 10% cut in funding from 1 April.
Haringey LBC had been called to the High Court this week to defend the proposal to charge some of its previously-exempt residents 20% of their council tax.
The case against Haringey was raised on the grounds that the authority had not properly consulted with the community over the changes and that the decision to charge 20% of the rebate to certain residents was unfair.
A Haringey LBC spokeswoman said:
“We welcome the ruling of the court and the finding that our consultation process was fair and lawful. We hope that the localised council tax reduction scheme agreed by full council last month will now be introduced from the start of the financial year.”
Earlier this week, law firm Irwin Mitchell revealed it had started legal action against Birmingham, Haringey, Hackney, Rochdale and Sheffield councils on behalf of residents.
The firm announced it was ‘investigating’ other local authorities prior to the 1 February deadline for councils to submit their benefit changes to the Government.
Camden LBC was also sent a ‘letter before action’ – the start of a potential judicial review.