A recent report by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, reported in the Ipswich Post by Matt Stott, highlighted that changes earlier this year to how council tax is funded is “making the poor poorer”.
From 1 April this year, around 30,800 Suffolk families had to pay up to 9% of their 2013/14 council tax bill for the first time after councils were granted powers to set their own limit for the new council tax support scheme.
The average increase for a low income family in Suffolk, at £81 a year, is one of the lowest hikes in England (42% below the national £140 average increase) . Even so, Peter Kenway, Director at the New Policy Institute (NPI), which wrote the report for JoRF, criticised councils for wielding the axe on poorer families.
It is making the poor poorer. It is very tough. It’s another turn of the screw. It seems we are turning into a society where we are extremely tough on those at the bottom of the income pile.
It undermines all the work New Labour did to get children and the next generation above the poverty line.
Chris Goulden, head of poverty at JoRF, said:
Making up the shortfall will be beyond most, with working hours under pressure and benefits falling behind inflation.
This tax hike will push people into poverty or cause more hardship for already very poor households, taking money from families who had little to start with.
You can read the full article here.