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Wednesday 22 January 2014

Poverty and Brent Labour Party

The recent Council meeting saw Labour Councillors pushed to support a Council Tax Support scheme we would not do in ordinary circumstances.  We had a number of usual suspects attacking us in a way I have described previously. We also had the Tories joining in, in an act of daring hypocrisy given their eternal austerity priority.

My own view is that we have to have a Poverty Fund in the way other Councils are doing.  It looks like Crisis Payments are being abolished by the Tory Government.  I think it sensible to try to pool various grants in one scheme to protect the poorest.  While that could make use of the residue of the crisis payment scheme, it would need some ongoing funding

I envisage such a source of funding being a rise in Council Tax.  Granted some people regard this as automatically beyond the Pale, but Brent has not had a Council Tax rise since 2010.

Whereas the previous Liberal Democrat administration promised to freeze the Council tax and in fact raised it. I don't think that had anything to do with their election defeat.  They were just unpopular for more general reasons.

I think a lot of ordinary voters would be quite sympathetic to a fund targeted to people in real need.

Comments welcome.

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