The Hackney Liberal Democrats have welcomed the backtrack from Mayor Glanville on plans to raise the amount of council tax paid by those entitled to the Council Tax Reduction Scheme, but say the 2% rise is still asking the poorest and most vulnerable to foot the bill.
The original Town Hall plans would have seen residents who qualify for the scheme seeing their bills rise by a third- going from paying 15% of the full tax to 20%.
Hackney Lib Dem Vice Chair, Darren Martin
Darren Martin, Hackney Lib Dem Vice Chair said:
"We opposed the original plans during consultation stage because they amounted to a council tax hike on the poorest and most vulnerable residents in the borough.
Any tax rise that is a blanket increase not taking into account income or circumstance will end up being regressive and will hit those least able to pay.
We submitted a number of alternative proposals during the consultation including changing the eligibility of the scheme and only offering to those with savings under £10,000, and looking at various ways the scheme is administered including backdating and time allowed to be away from the property.
These were options we researched and had been proposed in other similar consultations around the Country and would bring the CTRS scheme in line with certain Universal Credit eligibility rules making it easier for residents and the Council.
At the next council meeting we will be asking the Mayor to scrap the plans for the 2% increase and properly consider our proposals.
There is no doubt that money needs to be saved but there are other ways to do this that do not hit the poorest the hardest."