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Anyone heard about new changes to c'tax benefit and having to pay 20% when on benefits?

(72 Posts)
zumbaholic Thu 24-Jan-13 13:35:23

Thats it really, has anyone else heard of these changes? I found out about them today, apparently people of working age(under60) will have to start paying 20% towards their council tax becuase of money deficits within councils.
The thing worrying me is the child maintainance aspect, they will now count this as a income and people will be means tested. I think thats shocking since no other organisation counts child maintainance as income as its for the upkeep of the children.

On ringing the information line, they couldnt give me any more information or tell me when this may be put in place but im assuming it could be this aprilconfused

Jellykat Thu 24-Jan-13 19:51:16

I must just add that councils in Wales are not cutting council tax benefit.

LuluMai Thu 24-Jan-13 20:05:50

Of course it should count and of course you should pay something. I've raised ds alone since birth and always worked and paid full council tax, less single person's discount. Never received a penny from his dad. Why should I have to contribute and you not?

CarriedAwayAnnie Thu 24-Jan-13 20:10:11

We're losing single person discount here I think.

Do you not receive your wage some months then LuluMai just like a RP might not receive her maintenance from the NRP? Are you both in the same boat?

chickensarmpit Thu 24-Jan-13 20:14:58

If you use a service then you should pay for it. I'm sick of paying it mind. It's a bill I would love to not pay but I don't fancy going to prison. Everyone should at least have to pay a contribution. It's not fair that it's always left to the workers.

CarriedAwayAnnie Thu 24-Jan-13 20:25:07

Yes but to count child maintenance is madness.

chickensarmpit Thu 24-Jan-13 20:27:54

That money should be to feed and clothe the children. I'm sick to death of being turned upside down and shaken for cash by this government. We're all skint, we can't exactly pull it out of our arses can we.

CarriedAwayAnnie Thu 24-Jan-13 20:30:29

I think the fact it's unreliable is reason enough not to count it.

Wallison Thu 24-Jan-13 20:33:54

A lone parent with one child receives around £125 a week. Out of that, they are already having to fund part of their rent (due to cuts in housing benefit) as well as their living costs. And now they are going to have to fund part of their council tax as well. What was that about pulling it out of your arse again?

kilmuir Thu 24-Jan-13 20:36:41

all sounds fair.

HappyMummyOfOne Thu 24-Jan-13 20:51:49

Pensioners are unlikely to be able to work so are protected for that reason I presume. Not sure if i agree or not as some may have already taken a lot from the pot and others may have a decent private pension.

People of working age can choose to work, if a LP decides to live on benefits and not work then thats a choice they make and can hardly complain that they hve to make a contribution towards an essential bill.

Booyhoo Thu 24-Jan-13 20:53:59

are disabled people and carers being protected aswell?

expatinscotland Thu 24-Jan-13 20:54:34

'Out of that, they are already having to fund part of their rent (due to cuts in housing benefit) as well as their living costs.'

Only if they are under-occupying a council or HA property. If they are in a privately-rented home, then they are subject to LHA caps.

gallicgirl Thu 24-Jan-13 21:14:15

The levels of protection depend where you live and if the council is willing or able to fund that protection.
Pensioners are the only people central government have said mustn't pay more council tax than they currently do.
It's then up to local government how they run their own schemes.

In my area, no-one else is protected and all working age claimants must pay 25%. Allegedly it's no more than £5 a week hmm

In a neighbouring area, there are a lot of pensioners so other claimants have to pay 35%.

Some councils are capping the higher band council tax properties too. So say you live in a band G house, your council tax benefit might be capped at a level equivalent to band D.

Some of the boroughs close to London are writing in habitation clauses to prevent an influx of claims from people moving out of London due to rent caps.

Wallison Thu 24-Jan-13 21:32:48

It's not just LHA caps though expat - it's the whole 30% thing. Overall caps are only part of the story. Unless someone is living in a property deemed to be in the lowest third decile of all properties locally, they will be paying their rent out of their benefit. Which in the case of a lone parent with one child is out of £125 a week.

zumbaholic Thu 24-Jan-13 21:35:42

Exactly CarriedAwayAnnie, my exp didnt pay cm one month and told me 2 days before i was due in my account, this was in school holidays which made it worse, I have now learnt not to rely on that money because he could stop paying at any time, I could pursue through the csa but that would take months and months, during which time I would be X amount down every month.

LuluMai-Congratulations, well done you. You obviuosly have a great support network around you or a well paid job, I have absolutely 0% family support so until i can find a job that covers my bills, prescriptions etc and i can afford to put 3 in childcare/clubs, I am somewhat stuck. you sound a little bitter, have you tried pursuing you dcs father through csa?

chickensarmpit- I see your point but as someone who worked since i left school and have only been single+on benefits for 18 months I find that a little offensive. Ive paid NI and tax during my time of work, surely the whole point of the welfare system is to help support people when you get kicked down in order for you to get back up again!

HappyMummyOfOne- I dont choose to be in the situation Im in, believe you me if i could get back to work tommorrow I would.

Wallison Thu 24-Jan-13 21:36:28

^ if a LP decides to live on benefits and not work

There are 2.5 million people unemployed and 500,00 vacancies. Of those, many are short-hours contracts that are just impossible for lone parents to take up, or involve working 'unsocial' hours ie hours outside of those covered by nursery/childminder provision. Don't forget that lone parents have to arrange childcare for every hour they work. As such, I would be wary of categorising anyone as deciding to live on benefits.

CarriedAwayAnnie Thu 24-Jan-13 21:57:15

Wallison - I was going to write a similar post but thought it probably wasn't worth it. Some people only see things in black and white.

Wallison Thu 24-Jan-13 22:10:25

Oh I'm sure it will fall on deaf ears but just wanted to have it down for the sake of completeness. The short-hours contracts are particularly impractical for lone parents - how on earth can you arrange childcare when you only know for sure in advance 6 out of the (say) 24 you will be working in any given week? And yet that is the basis that many factories, supermarkets, hotels and other big employers work on.

CarriedAwayAnnie Thu 24-Jan-13 22:32:42

Glad I left it - You wrote it more eloquently than I could have done smile

JuliaScurr Sat 26-Jan-13 12:51:41

wallison smile

LuluMai Sat 26-Jan-13 18:50:50

Actually no zumba, but I did have a job before that I kept. I earn more now but when ds was a toddler tax credits paid for his full time nursery, I didn't drive, used to drop ds off by foot then train and bus to work every day. By myself, no family picking him up and I didn't earn a high wage. I qualified for free prescriptions. I do have sympathy if you've lost your job through redundancy, but if you stopped work to pop out a kid, it's your own fault.

Wallison Sat 26-Jan-13 18:58:29

If you were getting the full cost of your son's nursery funded by tax credits, you would have been getting a fair whack in working tax credits as well and child tax credits too, plus very likely housing and council tax benefit. All of which would have amounted to far more - by some considerable way - than out-of-work benefits.

Wallison Sat 26-Jan-13 19:00:17

Not to mention the cost to the taxpayer for your free prescriptions.

LuluMai Sat 26-Jan-13 19:19:15

Nope I didn't receive a penny of housing benefit, paid full rent, and paid full council tax and normal PAYE on my wage. I did take out of it in tax credits, as many working families do (two parent and lone), but I was constantly paying into the system and cost the state far less than if I had no worked at all (tax credits have never paid for full childcare, I got the max at 70%). People like zumba are simply taking the from the system and giving nothing back.

Wallison Sat 26-Jan-13 19:22:18

If you got 70% of your childcare paid, plus the other element of WTC and CTC as well, you were definitely getting out a lot more than you paid in. A lot more.

You don't get the 70% unless you are pretty much on minimum wage, which means that the tax you paid would nowhere near have covered what you were getting in in-work benefits, even without housing and council tax benefits. Yes, you weren't exactly taking and giving 'nothing' back, but you were taking a fuck of a lot and only giving a nugatory amount back.

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