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Jul 01 2014

Harrow Council Announces Consultation on Council Tax Support Changes

harrow_council_logoHarrow Council is launching a major consultation to ensure that the most vulnerable people in the borough do not lose out due to changes in Council Tax Support (CTS). In 2013, The Government abolished Council Tax Benefit, and then cut the funding available for its replacement, Council Tax Support.

A year after the scheme came into operation, the Council now has an opportunity to see how it has operated over the last year and use that experience to make changes to the scheme where necessary. The Government is continuing to cut the money it gives to Harrow Council, which includes funding for Council Tax Support. In Harrow this means we face a shortfall of £75m over the next four years.

The benefit is currently paid to 15,800 people in the borough who fall into categories including single parents, the disabled and families on low incomes. Harrow Council is now asking residents to give their views on how Council Tax Support should be channelled to those most in need.

Options under consideration include:

  • remove extra benefit for people who work longer hours
  • include child benefit as an income
  • include disability benefits as an income
  • increasing contributions from other adult of the household
  • changing the amount of savings a person can have before benefits are given

Cllr Sachin Shah, portfolio holder for Finance and Major Contracts, said: “This situation results from the cuts that has been imposed on the Council by the Government. Harrow, like other councils, is being forced to cut tens of millions from its budget over the coming years as part of an ongoing Government requirement for savings. I am committed to protecting the most vulnerable in our society from cuts from the Government and Council Tax Support is designed to do just that. While pensioners will remain protected, there may be difficult choices ahead for other residents who currently get CTS.”

He continued: “This consultation is about taking stock and picking the fairest route through the reality of the options before us and making the best choices for our community. It is vitally important that we hear from those potentially affected.”

The consultation runs from 7th July to 12th September this year, and the feedback the Council receives will influence how Council Tax Support is administered from next year.

For further information and a copy of the full consultation documents, call 020 8416 8266. The consultation should appear here when it goes live.

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8 comments

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  1. Krishna James (@CllrKJames)

    Here we go again boys who still live at home with mummy and daddy making decisions re council tax and vulnerable who suffer in harrow, looks like repeat of burn and slash support for vulnerable, remember the freedom pass gone for many, taxi-cards reduced. Listening to Council Officers without using brain and judgement and no opposition. Meanwhile inpatient hospitalisation gone up, mad ecnomics, but then thoes who dont live it do not see the bigger picture. Same old again, what a shame for Harrow people,what a shame for the vulnerable of Harrow. Status quo continues………..back to 2012………

  2. Mike N

    I suppose that to save £75 million we will be told that Harrow council will have to cut down on street cleaning, pothole fill, tree pruning, park updating and the like, whilst increasing our council tax. However in my area the council still has money for new speed humps and yellow lines on road’s and street corners that have never had or probably never will have cars that park illegally on them or cause an obstruction. It’s good to see that they’re getting their priorities right!

  3. mike mcfadden

    I’m of the opinion there are millions to be saved within in the council. (1) Stop printing anything other then in English. (2) Stop attracting people to Harrow to live on benefits. (3) Stop all benefits to failed asylum seekers and “lost children” if you can believe that. (4) Stop making the tax-payer pay for interpreters. Those that need them must pay for them. (5) Stop housing benefit unless the person is over 30 and has lived in the borough for 20 years. Harrow has rapidly turned into a slum. Urgently need bye lays regarding dumping/littering/spitting/drinking Alcohol/Urinating and in some cases defecating on our streets. Councillors should visit schools and lecture children about throwing litter and other anti social unacceptable behaviour so they can educate their parents in many cases!!! Further, politicians must face the facts. Multiculturalism has been a monumental failure that has lead to division of communities and race/religious hatred that can only end in tears for all. Time to wake-up and smell the coffee. its not rocket science. !!!

    1. Willy Stoodley

      Ah but Mike, alas it IS rocket science…apparently. Labour have a 5 seat majority off the back of only 16% of the electorate and they are now in a position to do pretty much what they like for the next four years. I don’t agree with your view on this but I do agree with democracy; to that end if you want it changed you have to chivvy up any one else who agrees with you to blinking well come out to VOTE next time, or nothing will change except for the date!

      1. mike mcfadden

        Ha ha ha Must agree with you Willy, best cancel Corrie and East Enders on election night. Probably, the reason only 16% bother to vote is because only 25% work the rest are on hand-outs. It was Harrow’s Nu-Labour that attracted those who wished to live on welfare rather then create an environment where people contribute to our way of life. May be its time for those that gave away our money are made personally liable for those funds. What many Labour politicians don’t seem to realise is they are only custodians of tax-payers money and must spend it wisely.

    2. Rupika Dave

      mike mcfadden – I must agree with you and everything you have stated is true. If we didn’t welcome so many scroungers to Harrow, we would have more cash for sure. I say this as a 2nd generation Asian. I have never been a Tory supporter but I strongly believe that Labour getting back in to run our Council is the final nail in our coffin. Already, they are thinking of ways to stitch us up, and now, if you please, are supporting strike action knowing that the people of Harrow will suffer. And guess what? They could not give a flying fig about us. And yes, we have only ourselves to blame. If everyone had got off their lazy backsides and actually cast their vote, we may have been looking at a very different scenario. What happened to Councillors that cared about their Boroughs?.

  4. Mike N

    Substitute Brent, Lambeth, Haringey, Tower Hamlets and the like in the 70’s, 80’s and early 90’s for Harrow in 2014. No wonder more middle class families are deserting the cities for the country side.

    1. mike mcfadden

      Its not only middle class. You know the term, its called “white flight” If you can’t discuss it you can’t deal with it!!!

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