The Labour Council in Haringey has recently approved a new Council Tax Reduction Scheme which seeks to reverse reforms brought in under the previous Conservative-Lib Dem Coalition Government.
Members from across the borough voted to increase the council tax discount for the poorest families in Haringey to ensure that the greatest weight is carried by the broadest shoulders.
The new reforms increase the maximum level of Council Tax Discount for the poorest families from 80.2 to 100 percent. The new measures will benefit over 6,000 lower income families and lift 3,000 families out of council tax altogether, delivering on a commitment promised in Labour’s manifesto during last year’s local election campaign.
The Labour party remains committed to delivering on its key pledges in standing up to the austerity regime imposed upon local councils by Tory-led central government in the past decade. The latest victory in Haringey reflects a broader commitment to ensure that Labour delivers a system which works for the many, not the few, at both the local and national level. Haringey’s budget has been cut by £122 million since 2010 – equal to £405 per person, putting further strains on local government’s ability to provide services for the most vulnerable residents. Despite this, Labour stands firm in its commitment to protect those in need and build a society based on principles of fairness and equality.
Councillor Pat Berryman, cabinet member for finance, described how the Tory-led austerity regime had squeezed those at the bottom of the table, whilst providing tax relief for those at the top.
He said, “Of the many draconian cuts that the Conservative-Lib Dem coalition made, one of them was to abolish council tax benefit.
“This placed a new burden on many low-income families – and though never reaching the depths of the Lib Dems, there were occasions during austerity when Labour council choices were perhaps, with hindsight, not always the best.
“The changes proposed tonight aim to redress some of the unfairness created and redistribute the burden of council tax to those with the broadest shoulders.”