good for bristol

Monday, 4 February 2013

What a difference a Mayor makes!

70% of councils up and down the land are going to make people on the dole pay something towards the Council Tax - something described as the new poll tax.  But not in Bristol where our new Mayor George Ferguson has ruled this out.

Bristol had a £6 million shortfall to make up in the 2013-14 budget. About half of this is being made up from cuts and the other half from a general increase in Council Tax and a higher contribution from people on low income.

It sucks that services are going to be cut - particularly housing support services which will lose a staggering £800,000. It sucks that Council tax is going up. It really sucks that people on a low income will have to pay more.

But not trying to collect money - in the worst case in Ealing upto £12 a week - from people dependent on benefits is the correct decision. In practical terms collection will be expensive, non-payment rates high and people simply don't have the money.

Congratulations to our new overlord on making a commonsense decision.

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