Saturday, 4 August 2012

Passing the buck on Council Tax Benefit

Today's Independent carries a story on the impact of Council Tax Benefit cuts, both on the recipients and local authorities. Whilst it's not new news, it serves to further highlight the Coalition's cack-handed and unjust approach to welfare reform.
The decision to cut the budget by ten percent has a double sting in the tail. Firstly, local authorities / devolved administrations have to decide how best to administer it and fill the shortfall. This then leaves them in an impossible position and they face a hard choice - reduce the benefit available to recipients (but not the level of Council Tax), pushing them further below the bread line, or put up Council Tax to meet the shortfall.

This is buck-passing on an epic scale.

No doubt the Coalition will then respond by exercising its power to cap Council Tax increases in England, just to make life doubly difficult.

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