Mr Pickles is the pot calling the kettle black

The recent decision by Cornwall Council’s Cabinet to introduce a policy for those in receipt of the Council Tax benefit, or as it is known under its new name Localised Council Tax Support,  might (final decision in Jan) find themselves being required to pay 30% of the Council Tax, as the maximum support given will be 70%.

This has not gone down well with people who are very worried on how to find this extra money. It does seem rather strange that the Cabinet is hitting those more in need. However, I will not be going into detail on the Cabinets recommendations, as I will get the chance to have my say and more importantly, vote in January when the full council will vote on this, and the budget in full.

What I will be talking about is the hypocrisy of the Secretary of State for Local Government, the Rt Hon Mr Pickles MP, who criticises councils in the Western Morning News that have or are thinking of going down this path.

For councils like Cornwall Council, the devolution of this function comes with a 12.5% reduction in budget. That is £6 million that Cornwall Council has to find.   If it was not for his Government, and the off-loading of this down to local councils, with less money, councils would not have to make these difficult decisions.

You cannot have it both ways Mr Pickles as at least give councils fair funding when you hand down functions to Local Authorities. Though for Cornwall Council to have greater sympathy, it also needs to hand down a fair budget with the services it is off-loading to town and parish councils. I am not seeing a lot of this actually happening.

I also blogged about this back in July and October.

 

4 comments

  • Gill Martin

    I believe it is wrong to allow local authorities to make
    decisions such as how council tax benefit will be allocated to
    those eligible. Do Cornwall Councillors have the expertise in this
    field of work.

  • Andrew Wallis

    Councillors do not get involved in this, it is left to Officers. However, budget setting is in the remit of Councillors

  • anonymouse

    I get well riled when I hear about those on benefits moaning about how hard up they are.

    Most “I know” seem to be able to afford sky HD, fags and to go to the pub regularly. Receiving benefit should be hard and you should struggle to make ends meet, that way you might get off your backsides and get a job.

    I know that the above is broadbrush but it does apply to a LOT of benefits receivers.

    In the same vein the country is in the shit and is trying to save money, of course there will be cuts and cutting the budget followed by an increase in allowance in CT benefits sort of defeats the object of making the cuts in the first place. But we are all in this together – and it seems to me from reading the press that all are getting targeted (increased tax, decreased pensions….)

    I know some will say that it was the bankers that got us into this – but it was also the idiots who put 20K on their credit cards and thought they could pay it back, err when…..

    What happened to the spirit that our parents had of going out and getting three jobs – yes I know some of you do and kudos to those, but it is the exception rather than the rule. We seem to live in a society where it is taken as a god given right to have a house provided, and sit at home while your four kids go to school. Get a job (and yes they are out their – you just have to be prepared to graft) !!

  • Gill Martin

    Thank you for the information Andrew, sorry, I didn’t
    think.

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