Welcome to slum-dog UK as many households cannot afford to pay their council tax under this coalition government as they continue attacking local council departments throughout England and Wales while both the Conservatives and LibDems gives their donors a big toast by saying feel free to continue donating your hard cash whilst we squeeze more cuts in public sector workers, council tenants, low paid and middle incomes.
In an intriguing development to further the aspiration of the coalition donors from George Osbourne his quote The British economy is “out of intensive care” and moving towards a recovery from financial crisis. He using a coded message to the coalition chums to say look what we have done for you now. I need to dangle a few carrots to the voters as they are not on board with us like we invested more in NHS, created jobs in the private sector, cut the MOD, Business, Home Office, and Welfare budgets to name a few. After that we can pull the the plug on them again. Ha ha we will be laughing all the way to our off shore accounts then stick two fingers at them.
The penny has dropped coalition has finally start to realize that there is two elections coming up in 2014 which are Local Government and European Parliament. No doubt they will stop playing the cat and mouse games with the press until after the elections are over then carry on with the attacks on local councils by adding more pressure by using the jaws of doom on us.
While one in ten households in England are behind in paying their council tax – a rise of 45 per cent on last year, a total of 1.48million homes were in arrears in April 2013 compared with 1.02million in April 2012, new figures show.
The Labour party said the government’s austerity measures and cuts to council tax benefit were to blame. ‘Everyone should pay their council tax but just as happened with the hated Poll Tax, councils now have to chase people on low incomes for money they simply don’t have,’ said shadow communities secretary Hilary Benn.
The Local Government Association said councils are being squeezed from both sides with less central government funding and lower collection rates.
‘Councils have been pushed into an impossible position by the government’s ten per cent cut in funding for council tax support,’ said a spokesman.
‘Asking those on lower incomes to pay council tax for the first time is reducing the collection rate but many local authorities have been left with no choice.’
However the government pointed out that the council tax benefit cut only came into force in April meaning the increase could not be put down to that.
It also said council tax has been frozen since the coalition came into office and claimed it had fallen by ten per cent in real terms.
‘We took unprecedented steps to deliver three years of council tax freeze support for residents,’ said a source close to the government.
‘Care and consideration must be given to people in financial distress.
‘Councils should ensure there is adequate support in place for those struggling with their council tax and publicise how to access hardship funds.’
Yet successive governments have failed to produce a coherent long-term strategy for housing, in a report, the Rics housing commission said some of the coalition’s policies were providing short-term help for the house-building industry.
But it argued that ministers’ lack of consistency over the past 50 years has exacerbated the failures of the market.
The government said it was cleaning up the mess left by its predecessor.
But Labour’s Jack Dromey said the coalition had failed to prevent the “biggest housing crisis in a generation”.
The Rics study concluded that the housing market has not delivered enough homes at affordable prices.
It welcomed the government’s Help to Buy scheme – which lends people up to 20% of the value of a new-build home – but called for further action to increase the supply of properties.
The housing commission’s report recommended doubling the current target of 100,000 new homes on publicly owned land, and said builders should be made to start work within three years of acquiring planning permission.
“Governments must increase the scale of their ambitions to match the scale of the challenges,” it said.
There had been a “near disappearance of government-funded research on housing since 2010”, the Rics study added.
It called for the creation of an independent committee to advise politicians from all parties on housing supply, and a new body bringing together private-sector and academic research on housing.
Better co-ordination is needed between housing ministers in Westminster and their counterparts in the devolved institutions, which are largely responsible for housing policies in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, Rics argued.
It also said ministers “must carefully review the introduction of their welfare reform measures and… be vigilant that the unintended consequences do not outweigh any benefits”.
In particular, the under-occupancy penalty on housing benefit claimants in social housing deemed to have surplus bedrooms should not apply where the tenants are unlikely to find alternative suitable accommodation in the area, it said.
Rics also criticised the Right to Buy scheme – under which council housing tenants can buy their homes at a discount – which it said “frequently reduces the supply of affordable rented homes in a locality”, and called for it to be replaced.
Housing minister Mark Prisk said the government was “fixing all areas of the dysfunctional housing market it inherited”.