CARERS CLAIMING BENEFITS ? Just How Secure Is That Roof Over YOUR Head ? Housing Allowance & Council Tax Problems ?

All about money
2 wards in Great Yarmouth have already 3 in 5 CT payers in arrears before this latest hike !!!


Council tax hike and nearly £16 million cuts on cards as Norfolk County Council readies budget.

People in Norfolk look likely to see the share of council tax they pay to the county council go up by nearly 4pc next year - at a time when millions more cuts will be made.



Norfolk County Council revealed today it is looking at a further £15.8m of savings in 2020/21, on top of £31.1m of savings already agreed.

Council leaders, unveiling their budget plans ahead of consultation, said they were taking "prudent measures" to meet pressures and balance the books.

But taxpayers will have to shoulder some of that, with County Hall's budgeting predicated on a 3.99pc council tax increase.

That includes a 2pc precept specifically for adult social care, which the government recently gave the green light for.

A 3.99pc increase would see the county council's annual share of a band D bills rise by £54.27, to an £1,416.51.

Despite this month's announcement by the chancellor of extra government cash, the council says that one-off money does not plug the gap or allow longer-term planning.

Andrew Jamieson, cabinet member for finance, said: "While I welcome additional government money - including a predicted £17 million grant for children's and adults social care - it's still not enough to meet our spending needs.

"After nearly a decade of making savings, we still face rising demand for services and continued uncertainty over future funding. That's why I'm proposing a series of prudent measures to balance the books."

Proposed new savings or increased income, in each department for 2020/21 includes:

- Adult social services: £7.2m - including saving £3.75m by increasing reablement, which helps people regain independence after being in hospital

- Children's services: £3.8m - including saving £3.5m by commissioning new care for children, with better outcomes and lower costs

- Community and environmental services: £1.9m - including saving £250,000 by renegotiating highways contracts

- Strategy and governance department: £500,000 - including saving £320,000 through income generation and vacancy management

- Finance and commercial services and finance general: £800,000 - including raising an extra £500,000 from organisational change budgets

- Business transformation: £1.6 through making the council's processes more modern, efficient and business-like But it comes on top of £31.1m of savings already agreed for next year, including £17.3m form adult social services and £3.5m from children's services.

And savings for this year have not all been made, with overspends in adult social care and children's services.

Steve Morphew, leader of the Labour group at Norfolk County Council, said: "Using words like transformation, investment and developing proposals are an attempt at a cloak of invisibility to distract from the awful truth.

"The last time we heard those words the closure of children's centres soon followed. Transformation spells and cloaks of invisibility are a fiction straight out of Harry Potter.

"The reality is a much darker and more sombre prospect for those who need support. This is a further appalling lack of honesty and transparency. Every family in Norfolk will be paying an extra £1 a week for £1m a week fewer services next year.

"We have seen the callous increases and treatment meted out by this Conservative council towards disabled people this year. No sign of relief for the hardship being inflicted on them, just the prospect of more and worse."

And Dr Ed Maxfield, leader of the Liberal Democrat group, said: "These are just fantasy figures. Even after the chancellor has emptied his piggy bank, the Conservatives are saying they will cut spending on services for children and on vulnerable adults in Norfolk by almost £50m. I don't believe it can be done.

"They are relying on vague plans to transform services but they have tried that and all that happens is that the council racks up massive over-spends and people in need of support see their services cut.

"Why should we believe it will be any different this time? The council - and the government - must face facts and fund vital services properly, because if they don't it is the people most in need who will suffer most."

Consultation will take place over the autumn, before the government confirms the council's funding in December and the full council takes a final decision to set a budget in February.

The council has budgeted to save £395m since 2011/12, in which time cash from the government has reduced by £220m and cost pressures have risen by £440m.

Cabinet will consider the budget proposals when it meets at 10am on Monday, October 7.

- The EDP will be hosting a Facebook Live on Norfolk County Council's budget planning at 1pm on Monday. We will be joined by Andrew Jamieson, the cabinet member for finance and Simon George, director of finance and commercial services.
Chris From The Gulag wrote:
Sat Sep 28, 2019 8:37 am
2 wards in Great Yarmouth have already 3 in 5 CT payers in arrears before this latest hike !!!


Council tax hike and nearly £16 million cuts on cards as Norfolk County Council readies budget.

People in Norfolk look likely to see the share of council tax they pay to the county council go up by nearly 4pc next year - at a time when millions more cuts will be made.



Norfolk County Council revealed today it is looking at a further £15.8m of savings in 2020/21, on top of £31.1m of savings already agreed.

Council leaders, unveiling their budget plans ahead of consultation, said they were taking "prudent measures" to meet pressures and balance the books.

But taxpayers will have to shoulder some of that, with County Hall's budgeting predicated on a 3.99pc council tax increase.

That includes a 2pc precept specifically for adult social care, which the government recently gave the green light for.

A 3.99pc increase would see the county council's annual share of a band D bills rise by £54.27, to an £1,416.51.

Despite this month's announcement by the chancellor of extra government cash, the council says that one-off money does not plug the gap or allow longer-term planning.

Andrew Jamieson, cabinet member for finance, said: "While I welcome additional government money - including a predicted £17 million grant for children's and adults social care - it's still not enough to meet our spending needs.

"After nearly a decade of making savings, we still face rising demand for services and continued uncertainty over future funding. That's why I'm proposing a series of prudent measures to balance the books."

Proposed new savings or increased income, in each department for 2020/21 includes:

- Adult social services: £7.2m - including saving £3.75m by increasing reablement, which helps people regain independence after being in hospital

- Children's services: £3.8m - including saving £3.5m by commissioning new care for children, with better outcomes and lower costs

- Community and environmental services: £1.9m - including saving £250,000 by renegotiating highways contracts

- Strategy and governance department: £500,000 - including saving £320,000 through income generation and vacancy management

- Finance and commercial services and finance general: £800,000 - including raising an extra £500,000 from organisational change budgets

- Business transformation: £1.6 through making the council's processes more modern, efficient and business-like But it comes on top of £31.1m of savings already agreed for next year, including £17.3m form adult social services and £3.5m from children's services.

And savings for this year have not all been made, with overspends in adult social care and children's services.

Steve Morphew, leader of the Labour group at Norfolk County Council, said: "Using words like transformation, investment and developing proposals are an attempt at a cloak of invisibility to distract from the awful truth.

"The last time we heard those words the closure of children's centres soon followed. Transformation spells and cloaks of invisibility are a fiction straight out of Harry Potter.

"The reality is a much darker and more sombre prospect for those who need support. This is a further appalling lack of honesty and transparency. Every family in Norfolk will be paying an extra £1 a week for £1m a week fewer services next year.

"We have seen the callous increases and treatment meted out by this Conservative council towards disabled people this year. No sign of relief for the hardship being inflicted on them, just the prospect of more and worse."

And Dr Ed Maxfield, leader of the Liberal Democrat group, said: "These are just fantasy figures. Even after the chancellor has emptied his piggy bank, the Conservatives are saying they will cut spending on services for children and on vulnerable adults in Norfolk by almost £50m. I don't believe it can be done.

"They are relying on vague plans to transform services but they have tried that and all that happens is that the council racks up massive over-spends and people in need of support see their services cut.

"Why should we believe it will be any different this time? The council - and the government - must face facts and fund vital services properly, because if they don't it is the people most in need who will suffer most."

Consultation will take place over the autumn, before the government confirms the council's funding in December and the full council takes a final decision to set a budget in February.

The council has budgeted to save £395m since 2011/12, in which time cash from the government has reduced by £220m and cost pressures have risen by £440m.

Cabinet will consider the budget proposals when it meets at 10am on Monday, October 7.

- The EDP will be hosting a Facebook Live on Norfolk County Council's budget planning at 1pm on Monday. We will be joined by Andrew Jamieson, the cabinet member for finance and Simon George, director of finance and commercial services.
What about numbers for Surrey?
Going from earlier post(s).

Its very hard to cover the subject of immigration because we are intentionally/deliberately poorly educated as a population and not exposed to the subject matter in real terms, outside of the scope of political agendas and the media. The saying applies you tell a lie enough times it becomes truth.. as carers we understand that if we did not do what we did, the NHS could collapse overnight

But then the same could be said if the service were made unable to sustain itself with workers from the EU.

I don't disagree on overcrowding, however this is by large based on the fallout from the lasting damage of the economic/banking crisis and the subsequent decade of austerity measures which have followed.. where money coming in has not been squandered/ not properly spent where it should be.

My sole gripe with immigration is that the system is very archaic and we do not do enough to encourage integration compared to other states, but vast parts of the world you simply will not function if you don't at least make an effort to pick up the basics (language, culture etc). There are also very poor controls on migration from outside the EU zone and this is probably the most key detail in that we don't do enough to manage people coming in which is a general failure politically which ascends party allegiances, the tories track record to date is appalling, but then labour had been useless as well.

For the sake of example the NHS has a list of countries it is not to actively recruit from on ethical grounds yet continually flouts with the aid of employment agencies no less.

Anyway, as we're drifting off into political land..

CT is a mess. You could see the writing on the wall when the government axed council tax benefit and they were warned then but didn't care. I mean you want an exercise in futility imagine somebody who had previously qualified for a full reduction due to impaired capacity now being hounded for a contribution towards it (but unaware none the less, as others chase the issue)

Yes disregards and reductions exist but they are not easy to get. In fact you could make a strong case where the more disabled a loved one is (for example housebound/unable to bring them out) that actually the more harder it is to obtain certain things required to claim them.

No quick fixes, we're in a right mess... and as usual its those in significant need already who are hit hardest because of lack of means to defend selves.
CT is a mess.


Harps back to the very first posting.

When the Poll Tax was axed back in 1991 , CT was introduced ... a back of the fag packet job ... that has major disadvantages for those
with lower incomes ... and living in low wage areas.

Now , a major factor ... seen most notably in the food bank queues.

A regressive tax ... not based on the ability to pay.

( Made even worse with social care being funded out of it !!! )
Housing benefit claimants priced out of Yorkshire.



Housing benefit claimants are priced out of almost all homes to rent in Yorkshire, forcing people to make “impossible decisions” and pushing families into homelessness.

Rising rents and a “disastrous” benefit freeze have meant fewer and fewer affordable properties every year and, on top of that, many landlords are refusing to let homes to benefit claimants, according to research by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism.


arities said families were missing meals and not heating their home in order to keep a roof over their heads as they urged the government to tackle the issue.

Polly Neate, chief executive of Shelter, said: “The freeze on housing benefits has been truly disastrous. People up and down the country are having to make impossible decisions on whether to cut back on food for their family or heat their home just to make up the shortfall between their benefit and rent.

“In the worst case scenario, families are facing homelessness simply because there is nowhere they can afford to live.”

Only 9 per cent of two-bed properties in Yorkshire are affordable, according to the research, and there are some areas in the region with almost no affordable properties for housing benefit recipients.

York had seven, Richmond and Hambleton had nine and, shockingly, of 63 two-bed listings in Scarborough, only one was affordable to someone on housing benefit.

The best place to find a home for those in receipt of housing benefit was Bradford, where more than 18 per cent of two-bed properties were affordable. However, this still amounted to only 70 two-bed homes across the whole city, which has nearly 40,000 housing benefit claimants.

Housing benefit, otherwise known as the local housing allowance, was frozen as part of the government’s austerity policy in 2016. The allowance was supposed to cover the cheapest 30 per cent of the local rental market, however, since the freeze rents in the region have kept rising.

Jon Sparkes, chief executive of Crisis, said "This investigation paints a clear picture that for the overwhelming majority, we're not meeting this basic human need. This is simply unacceptable - we can and must do better.

"We can't let individuals shoulder this burden simply because housing benefit hasn’t kept up with rising rents.”

Non-profit organisation the Bureau of Investigative Journalism collected the details of 62,695 two-bed rental properties across England, Wales and Scotland that were advertised on a single day. Journalists also called almost 200 landlords and discovered the vast majority would not let to housing benefit tenants.

Of those that would, many asked for families to fulfil further conditions, such as paying six months’ rent in advance or providing a guarantor. One property site asked for a week’s rent in advance to even talk to the landlord.

Ms Neate said these practices were “discriminatory and unlawful”.


She added: "If this government is serious about tackling homelessness, it is not enough to just lift the freeze, as it has said it will. It must also increase housing benefit rates to ensure they cover at least the bottom third of the rental market across the country so people can retain their homes and avoid becoming homeless."

A Government spokesperson said: “Providing quality and fair social housing is an absolute priority. The Government increased more than 360 Local Housing Allowance rates this year, by targeting extra funding at low-income households.

“We’re investing over £9bn in affordable housing and an additional £2bn after 2022. And we have abolished the Housing Revenue Account borrowing cap – giving councils across the country the tools they need to deliver a new generation of affordable housing.”


Families on housing benefit unable to afford 94% of rental homes, research finds

Government’s benefit freeze " Pushing low-income families to the brink. "


Families on housing benefit are priced out of almost every home on the market, according to new research.

More than 94 per cent of family homes are unaffordable to local housing allowance (LHA) claimants, according to analysis of private rental listings.

Some towns had just one affordable property available, found the National Housing Federation (NHF), which warned the government’s benefits freeze is “pushing low-income families to the brink”.

The NHF analysed 75,000 private rental adverts across every postcode in England and found LHA could cover the cost of only 7.5 per cent of them.

Family homes – with two or more bedrooms – were even less affordable, with only 6.5 per cent within the budget of households in receipt of the benefit. In some areas less than 1 per cent of homes were within the budget of households on LHA.

Kate Henderson, chief executive of the NHF, said: “Low-income families in England are being punished two-fold. No longer able to access social housing because of the dire shortage of it, they now can’t access enough housing benefit to rent privately either.

“The crippling effects of the housing crisis and significant cuts to benefits have forced thousands of parents into impossible situations in order to keep a roof over their children’s heads, many having to choose between crippling debt, overcrowding or homelessness.”


The worst shortages were in Huntingdon in Cambridgeshire, Thanet in Essex, and Stevenage in Hertfordshire, which each had only one home within the budget of people on LHA.

Ipswich had three, Milton Keynes had four, and Peterborough had six – all equivalent to less than 1 per cent of the private rental homes on the market in each area.

Polly Neate, chief executive of housing charity Shelter, said families were “living in misery because housing benefit is not doing its job”.