Croydon tax support cut: 20,000 people to be affected

£5.7 million will be cut from the council tax support programme for vulnerable households who claim benefits in the Croydon borough.  

It is estimated that up to 20,000 people living in the borough who receive financial support will be affected by the cuts, each household losing around £29 a week on average.

From April, support will be based on income brackets instead of circumstances such as living in a single-parent household or if you receive universal credit.

The changes being made to the council tax will not affect pensioners, care leavers under 25 and disabled people who are currently unemployed. Households with the lowest incomes will be eligible for an 80% discount in council tax payments.

The cuts, due to take place this April, are part of efforts to try and balance the budget in a borough that went bankrupt in 2020. The council believe the cuts will save the borough £4.4 million a year.

The Mayor of Croydon, Sherwan Choudhury, had to cast the deciding vote after it was tied 9-9 because Labour Councillor Andrew Pelling broke rank with the Labour majority to vote against the changes. It was only the second time since 2018 a Labour councillor did not follow the party whip.  

Pelling believed the cuts would actually lead Croydon Council to pay more money to tackle issues he believed would grow such as homelessness and other poverty issues. Pelling tweeted: “I voted at council to stop the cuts to Council Tax benefits… Now is not the time to axe Council Tax Benefits.”  

Due to Covid-19 it was only possible to have 19 out of 70 councillors present at the meeting.  

Charities and local communities including Croydon Disabled People Against Cuts and Bromley and Croydon Unite Community have publicly spoken out against these changes.

Croydon Unite Community tweeted: “Residents will be plunged further into poverty in April as council tax will rise with energy prices.”  

Leave a Reply