An Unnecessary Role

embracing false choices

Impractical cuts dressed up as localism

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Forgive the source of this link, but as the Mail appears to be the only media source covering this it will have to do. The latest  initiative from the government is to transfer responsibility for the payment of council tax benefit from the Department for Work and Pensions to local authorities. With new responsibilities comes new money to fund it. However, the total given to councils to pay out on council tax benefit will be a full 10% less than is currently spent.

This essentially means that councils are being instructed to find a way of giving less people council tax benefit, which is challenging enough, but CLG won’t leave it at that. Pensioners will be protected from any change in eligibility, as will people already in work. The burden of that 10% reduction will inevitably fall on the most vulnerable. Pickles attempts to sell this as giving councils the opportunity to benefit form getting people back in work, but the impractical nature of this transfer of responsibility and the potential damage it could do means many councils will not see this as a good deal. In this case localism is a confidence trick, with duties being off-loading to councils without giving them the resources or the power to fulfil them.

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Written by samelliot

August 2, 2011 at 11:04 am

Posted in Finance, Localism, Welfare

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