Kettering Council votes to reduce council tax support for area’s poorest

Councillors have voted to increase the minimum bill payment for those in desperate need from 25 per cent to 45 per cent

Councillors have voted to increase the minimum bill payment for those in desperate need from 25 per cent to 45 per cent

8
Have your say

A Kettering councillor says enough is enough after the level of council tax support for the poorest in the community was reduced.

At a meeting last night (Wednesday), councillors voted to increase the minimum bill payment for those in desperate need from 25 per cent to 45 per cent.

The current rate is already the highest charged by any council in Northamptonshire, with some local councils only charging 8.5 per cent.

Cllr Mick Scrimshaw told of his disappointment at the result, and says enough is enough.

He said: “I genuinely think the rise is unfair and unwarranted, and is another an example of the poorest in our community being asked to shoulder the burden of the Government’s austerity agenda in a much higher proportion than others.

“This support is only given to those in most desperate need, including the most vulnerable and the disabled.

“The new rate will mean a massive increase of almost £10 a week to individuals and families, who because of their circumstances are obviously the least able to pay.

“This at a time when the council boasts about council tax not having risen at all.

“Nationally the picture is even more disturbing, with 88 per cent of all councils charging less than us.

“I suspect this will now put Kettering as the highest charging council anywhere.

“This is why enough is enough.

“I proposed that we kept the rate the same as it currently is but this was defeated by the block vote of the Conservative administration, although I received support from two Conservative councillors, Michael Brown and Steve Bellamy, along with the independent councillor Ruth Groome and the entire Labour group.”