Proposals to spare 19,000 Norwich households from government-enforced cuts could deprive Norfolk police and council budgets of more than £250,000.

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Norwich City Council expects to lose £1.5m a year of its grant to pay council tax support from April, as part of government attempts to reduce the national benefits bill.

Local authorities have been informed to either find ways of raising the shortfall or cut support offered to low-earners and unemployed people. They must also protect pensioners from cuts.

The Labour-controlled city council cabinet last night backed plans to raise approximately £850,000 a year by various methods, including reducing discounts on second homes from 10pc to 5pc, and charging 100pc council tax on properties empty between six and 12 months.

The authority also expects to receive government transitional funding to help with the change-over.

But figures show the council is likely to collect £293,000 less in 2013/14 than 2012/13.

This loss, split equally among the authorities who receive money from council tax, is expected to reduce income for the city council by £42,000, by £214,000 for Norfolk County Council and by £37,000 for Norfolk Constabulary.

The county council is also contributing £30,000 to the city council’s extra costs to collect the tax.

Alan Waters, cabinet member for finance, told last night’s cabinet meeting: “There are 19,000 families in Norwich who have council tax benefit. There is an unspecified number of people who don’t claim council tax benefit and are entitled to do so.”

James Wright, Liberal Democrat group leader, said he was disappointed national politicians had not agreed to amendments made by Lib Dem peer Lord Tope to allow councils to lower single persons discount.

Mr Wright said this would have made a “fairly awful piece of legislation slightly easier to deal with”.

Bert Bremner, cabinet member for transport, added: “A Labour motion went to the county council and the whole of the county council, every single party, there was a vast majority, was most appalled with this legislation and asked for it to be reconsidered.”

8 comments

  • They should abolish the discount on second homes entirely - there is no justification for it at all. Second home owners are among the wealthiest in our society - and they expect public services (such as bin collection, police protection and street cleaning) to be available when they need them. If you can afford a second home, you can afford to pay full council tax - if you can't, sell the home to a family who can make better use of it.

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    Huw Sayer

    Tuesday, January 15, 2013

  • Quite right there Huw. No discount for second home owners. Make them pay the full amount because they're occupying a home that otherwise would.

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    marty r

    Tuesday, January 15, 2013

  • Police and County budgets to be cut by £250,000 to spare 19,000 homes. That's Thirteen Quid per home. What are they doing - buying them all a takeaway curry? I can't see how such a tiny amount spares a home. I do wish people would avail themselves of their calculators or a pen and paper like me before coming up with such silly statistics.

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    Electra

    Tuesday, January 15, 2013

  • No BG it is Labour who are beginning to implement the living wage wherever possible.I agree with you though that a living wage would remove taxpayer subsidy but why not apply this to private rents too?An appalling amount of public money is being used to subsidize buy-for-let schemes for private landlords which is forcing up rents.Rent controls on private landlords would save us a fortune in the subsidy of housing benefit to them.It is a licence to print money and it's our money.

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    Peter Watson

    Tuesday, January 15, 2013

  • party political hacks accusing each other over 'nothing much', when their parties are unable to change their dogma ridden agendas and have landed us in the economical predicament we are in. Why no opinion printed from the second largest group on the council? too shy?

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    ingo wagenknecht

    Tuesday, January 15, 2013

  • 19.000 "affordable homes" this must be a record for a City the size if Norwich !

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    Albert Cooper

    Tuesday, January 15, 2013

  • Just as well, I was planning on turning to a life of crime to pay for them..might still have to with the bedroom tax.

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    WTH

    Tuesday, January 15, 2013

  • This is all down to Labour`s fixation on the minimum wage, benefits and tax credits. If people were paid a living wage then the tax payer would not be forking out money like this. Employers are having a right old laugh at the expense of the rest of us.

    Report this comment

    BG

    Tuesday, January 15, 2013

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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