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Localisation of social security: what can the advice sector tell us?

11 March 2019
In the last few years, a slew of reports have been published focusing on the impact of the coalition government’s decision to localise various elements of the national social security system, including council tax benefit (now council tax support) and the discretionary social fund (now local welfare assistance).

Protecting the vulnerable – how to keep 100% Council Tax Reduction in your area!

25 October 2017
As the elected Mayor of Bedford Borough, in 2013 I faced 40 per cent cuts in local government financing, a new localism agenda and welfare reform.

Betty: still too poor to pay

02 September 2016
Yesterday we published a new report with Z2K, which shows the impact that abolishing council tax benefit has had on low income Londoners. Still too poor to pay: three years of localised council tax support in London reveals that localising council tax support has led to increasing numbers of households receiving court summonses, falling into council tax arrears and being referred to bailiffs.

Still too poor to pay: three years of localised council tax support in London

01 September 2016
Read the latest report from CPAG and Z2K in a series that examines how London council tax support schemes have changed in the last three years and analyses the impact these changes have had on claimants.

London sees 51% surge in use of bailiffs for council tax debts

01 September 2016
Over 19,000 low income, sick and disabled Londoners were referred to bailiffs in 2015/16, a 51% increase on the previous year. 26 of 33 London boroughs charge council tax to households previously deemed too poor to pay (up from 24 in 2015/16). Eight London boroughs hiked minimum charges for 2016/17 (up from 7 in 2015/16).

What do experts and professionals think of the ‘local welfare safety net’?

17 November 2015
Does local discretion on social security deliver ‘localism in action’ or a postcode lottery? That’s one of the questions being asked by the Commons Work and Pensions select committee in looking at the interaction between the national benefits system and locally-run schemes.

London’s poorest hit by cuts to council tax support

30 July 2015
 Two years on from the abolition of national council tax benefit, tens of thousands of low-income Londoners are still reeling in the face of local payment demands, a report from Child Poverty Action Group (CPAG) and Z2K reveals. Too poor to pay tracks the impact of the second year (2014-15) of localised council tax support schemes which replaced national council tax benefit in April 2013.

Too poor to pay

29 July 2015
Since localisation of council tax support, over 123,000 Londoners have fallen into arrears on a bill they were previous deemed too poor to pay.

The dark side of localism: when boroughs want to keep "council tax tourists" out

14 August 2014
In the 1949 Ealing comedy Passport to Pimlico, residents of the London borough set themselves up as a separate state with predictably comic results. When Pimlico’s governing committee lifts post-war rationing, shoppers flood to the new dominion only to find themselves trapped when its borders are later closed.