Still too poor to pay
While the myriad of social security cuts introduced by the Welfare Reform Act 2012 have rightfully generated extensive reporting, monitoring and analysis, the abolition of council tax benefit has slipped by relatively unnoticed. In the same year as the benefit cap and the ‘bedroom tax’ were laid down in legislation, the 2012 Local Government Finance Act set out to abolish the national system of council tax benefit and to replace it with locally administered council tax support schemes. Accompanying this ‘localisation’ was a 10 per cent cut in funding and the stipulation that whatever scheme local authorities decided to implement, they must continue to offer 100 per cent support for pensioners. Three years on, Sam Ashton from the charity Z2K examines what the impact has been in London.