Green Party councillors are urging Bristol residents to take part in the Council’s consultation on the future of the Council Tax Reduction Scheme. They say it is a chance to tell the Council that no reduction should be made to the support given to the city’s very poorest households.
Leader of the Green Group, Councillor Eleanor Combley, said, “We have raised concerns about the legality of this consultation, but since the council are continuing with the process, we hope residents will take part and use the opportunity to help protect vulnerable households. Remember that you don’t have to accept any of the options offered. Instead you can just use the free comment sections of the consultation to describe what you think should happen.
“If cuts are made to the scheme, this will push people deeper into poverty. It is likely that the Council will end up footing the bill for the knock-on effects – for example, greater demand for family support and homelessness services. So as well as causing a huge amount of pain for the poorest Bristolians, the cuts may generate little or no financial gain. Camden Council recently reinstated its full council tax support largely for this reason.”
Councillor Carla Denyer said: “The proposed cuts to Council Tax Reduction Scheme are in my view deeply immoral and would inevitably see visits from bailiffs imposed on the poorest in Bristol. It is estimated that 25,000 households would be affected by the change, and many of these households include children. And let’s not forget that these are the 25,000 very poorest households, already under immense pressure due to cost of living increases and cuts to services. Increasing the tax they are required to pay will almost certainly result in increased homelessness and will see many more households relying on food banks just to get by. These are not the people the Mayor should be demanding more money from.”
The consultation runs until 24th September and is available at https://bristol.citizenspace.com/neighbourhoods/council-tax-reduction-scheme-for-2018-19/
Guides to completing the consultation have been produced by both Bristol Green Party and ACORN, available here: