'Obscene' changes coming to council tax payments
FEARS have been raised that poor and vulnerable people will be under severe financial pressure after Cornwall Council's Cabinet agreed every household should pay council tax.
The new 25 per cent minimum charges will be introduced in April in response to the Government shifting the responsibility for council tax benefit onto local councils. The system currently allows low-income families and individuals to claim up to 100 per cent off their council tax bills.
However Cornwall Council's finance officers said continuing this could cost the council more than £4 million.
But some councillors warned of severe financial pressure and hardship for families and vulnerable people. Liberal Democrat Councillor Alex Folkes told the Cabinet last week: "There is a chance that poorer families could be forced out of their homes as a result of this. We could have an endless cycle of this council chasing people for money that they haven't got. This measure will impact significantly on the poor people of Cornwall.
"I would ask the Cabinet whether it is right that we force people into the arms of the foodbank?"
Secretary of State Eric Pickles said it was "obscene" and is considering using his powers to prevent the move.