Here’s my latest email to constituents in Hornsey and Wood Green –
It’s getting closer to the festive period, and Labour-run Haringey Council have an unwanted gift in store for vulnerable residents – a 20% increase in their Council Tax bill.
Next year, Council Tax benefits will be replaced by a Council Tax localisation scheme. Pensioners will be unaffected, but all adults of working age who were receiving benefit may have to pay the extra money – if the Council refuses to cover the cost.
In these tough economic times, the Government cannot give local authorities an endless supply of money, so some funding has been reduced. But it is down to local authorities – like businesses, government and families – to adapt and prioritise their spending.
Some Liberal Democrat controlled councils such as Cheltenham will not pass on any costs to their residents, so they will be unaffected by the change. Others such as Bristol have applied for funding from the Government to make sure residents don’t lose out.
We’re calling on Haringey Council not to make vulnerable residents pay more. We think they should instead cut their massive publicity budget (£2.5 million in one year!) and cut wasteful spending.
The Council could also decrease their outrageous spending on agency staff – £38m on agency staff since 2010 and £1.6m on consultants in the last 18 months.
Cutting this expenditure would ensure that vulnerable residents do not lose out in the New Year.
Please do send me your views on this. Please also pass this email on to any friends, colleagues or neighbours who may be affected.