29 August 2016
As Camden Green Party has argued for several years, Camden Council is finally considering cutting council tax for the borough's poorest people.
Since 2013, the council has removed the previous 100% exemption for people on benefits - including disabled people and families with low incomes and children.
It now charges people with the lowest incomes at least 8.5% of the normal rate, something it's very hard to pay when you have no way of making the money required.
Green Councillor Sian Berry has spoken out about this, called for the exemption to be 100%, and has criticised the council charging additional legal costs for enforcement to people who fall behind.
At last year's budget setting meeting she said:
"This is revenue from people who would pay if they could, but simply don’t have the income.
"They are more than likely to be subject to benefit sanctions and the bedroom tax already, and if we can’t afford not to drive our poorest people into impossible debts, then we have a problem."
Now the council has agreed to consult on this option, based on the high default rate and the very small amount of money it actually raises. It launched a consultation on 22 August, and this runs until 21 October.
PLEASE RESPOND TO THE CONSULTATION - and say you are in favour of the 100% exemption being restored. If successful, the new zero rate would be introduced from next April.
Watch Sian Berry's budget speech from 2015: