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Measure to assist low-income families comes at the same time as increased service charges

21 April, 2017

• CAMDEN Council has recently announced they have made 15,000 of its residents exempt from paying council tax for 2017-18. These residents are those on low incomes, benefits or the disabled.

Finance chief Cllr Theo Blackwell claims these residents will be saving up to £100 a year.

The head of council tax) said: “The plan is to eliminate child poverty and Camden believes this measure will assist families on low incomes and benefits to maintain their living standards.”

And most councillors claim, especially Sian Berry of the Green Party, that they played a major role in getting the council tax exemption for these 15,000 residents.

Then Camden go and introduce a very new service charge under the heading “maintenance of communal areas”.

The weekly cost of this new charge is £1.10 and, with slight increases in other services, the overall increase in service charges amounts to £1.23 per week, or £64 per year, of which a vast majority of those exempt from council tax will be liable for – along with all those residents who live on estates or where there is a communal area.

So would a councillor, perhaps Sian Berry, explain why this new service charge has been introduced and why, and just how many of those 15,000 council tax exemptions will be paying an extra £64 per year?

There’s very little point in saving Camden’s poorest families £100 a year and taking £64 back under the umbrella of service charges, and hope no one notices.



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