The Department for Work and Pensions announced today that there will be a 5% cut in the funding of the Council Tax benefits service. The Local Government Authority is claiming that unless there are “significant increases in council tax”, these cuts would lead to a decline in benefits.
"The LGA said the cuts would result in either a reduced benefits service or "substantial increases in council tax .... LGA vice chairman Sir Jeremy Beecham described the proposed funding cut as "unreasonable and unfair." - BBC
Of course, we all know in reality that council tax will just go up yet again to plug this gap whilst local government continues to waste our money and resources, and services for local people will continue to deteriorate. What’s really “unreasonable and unfair” is the regressive, extortionate council tax. Council tax increases beat inflation year after year. Indeed since 1995 whilst income and pensions have increased by 50 and 38 percent respectively, council tax has more than doubled! Unsurprisingly then, council tax is driving taxpayers, and pensioners in particular, into poverty. It is council tax that hurts the very poorest and most vulnerable, and enforced cuts to benefit administration in local government will just fall back as a cost on local residents in the shape of future council tax rises.
When it comes to plugging "holes" in budgets, town hall bureaucrats have form.