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Thursday, January 10, 2013

Welsh Government letting down the vulnerable

This morning's Western Mail has an interesting take on the changes to Council Tax benefit that will see claimants having to contribute 10% of their entitlement themselves. We already knew that the Scottish Government was picking up the shortfall themselves so as to protect the poor and vulnerable, however the Welsh Government say that they cannot afford to follow suit. That may well be the case.

What the paper shows however is that a number of English Councils are meeting the shortfall in their own schemes for good social and practical reasons.They say that the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea’s Cabinet is expected to approve a recommendation today that will see the council pick up a £1m bill to ensure that those who currently receive a rebate will continue to do so. A similar decision has already been taken by Westminster City Council and by Hammersmith and Fulham Council.

Perhaps if the Welsh Government had not insisted on a single national scheme but had allowed Councils to do their own thing as has happened in England then more people could have been protected in Wales as well.  The shortfall of £22m is a lot of money to find, but when it is shared out amongst the 22 Councils it becomes more affordable.

Has Welsh Labour's ideological obsession with central control disadvantaged vulnerable Welsh people?
Did you vote for or against a council tax freeze in Wales in the last three years?

Council tax has been frozen in Scotland and England, why not in Wales?

I voted for a Council Tax freeze in Swansea where it was delivered. That is the appropriate level for these decisions to be delivered.
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