Tag Archives: Welfare Reforms

So Sneaky – Council Tax And Disability In Birmingham

We’ve recieved this letter regarding the cuts to council tax benefit which will see unemployed and some disabled people having to find 20% of their council tax bill out of their benefits. You can check if you are eligible for continuing exemption from council tax you can check with the council benefit team through this webpage.

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Filed under Alternatives to Cuts, Birmingham City Council

Hundreds Turn Out For Bedroom Tax Demo In Birmingham

Birmingham Bedroom Tax Demo March 16th (19)Hundreds of people came out to demonstrate against this coalition’s unpopular bedroom tax policy. One of the biggest anti-cuts demonstrations in the past couple of years saw the two sides of the Labour party speak in between amongst community activists and people affected by the bedroom tax, as John Mcdonnell MP and Liam Byrne MP both addressed the crowd – to rather different receptions.

You can read more about the bedroom tax, and the “spare” rooms that aren’t spare in these posts – More concessions show we can defeat the bedroom tax and Birmingham bedroom tax demonstration.

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More Concessions Show We Can Defeat The Bedroom Tax

The coalition has made some concessions with the bedroom tax to take some of the non-spare rooms out of the new charge. Changes mean that foster carers will not be charged for one additional room, as long as they have had a foster child or become an approved foster carer in the past 12 months and army personnel living at home will be allowed to keep their room even if they are away for over a year. Yesterday, it was announced that seriously disabled children would be considered to need their own bedroom but that will be a decision to be made by individual councils and no real definition has emerged as to what will be exempted and what won’t.

A great post here on Nearly Legal about the Bedroom Concessions and what they mean

Update: Foster Carers with more than one bedroom in use by foster children will still face the bedroom tax

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More Benefit Cuts Voted Through Yesterday – Benefits Uprating Bill

Yesterday, parliament voted through the Benefits Uprating Bill which will mean a real terms cut in benefits, a move that The Tories admitted will put 200,000 children into poverty. This bill, which cuts the link between inflation and benefits, will see social security payments which have hugely dropped in value since 1979 continue to be eroded. The effect on wages will be to create a further downward pressure, in addition to the recession, as the value of unemplyoment benefits places a floor beneath which wages cannot fall. The effect of this on disabled people, carers, unemployed people and low paid workers will be tremendous, and once the rest of the welfare rooms are considered as well, the effects will be disastrous for many.

How Can You Tell If A Politician Is Lying About Benefits?

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Filed under Cuts

Protecting the most vulnerable? – Birmingham cuts its children’s services

As Birmingham City Council sets its budget for 2013-14, nearly a quarter of the proposed total cuts of £110m falls disproportionately on the Children and Young People’s (CYP) Budget. There are also significant cuts planned to Play and Youth Services which will be subject to £1m worth of cuts over two years.

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Filed under Birmingham City Council, Cuts

Council Tax Support – Bore’s Poll Tax?

Birmingham’s Labour Councillors voted unanimously to pass on a £200+ charge to social security claimants living in the city at January’s Council meeting. Claimants will be charged 20% of the cost of their Council Tax from 1st April. For a claimant living in a Band C property this will be the equivalent of £5.17 a week. Pensioners are exempted from these changes.

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Filed under Birmingham City Council, Cuts

Birmingham Law Centre Faces Closure As Council Refuse Funding

Save Birmingham Law Centre JanBirmingham Law Centre is facing closure after Birmingham City Council (itself facing massive cuts) refused to offer money to the law centre to replace the lost income from legal aid, which will cease to exist for many areas of civil law in April 2013, denying access to justice for anyone unable to afford solicitors.

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Filed under Birmingham City Council, Cuts