Again I feel I have to write about the abuse people are receiving when being unable to afford their Council Tax.
“Abuse, what abuse, they haven’t paid, so just who is abusing the system?” You cry…..
Well my Friends, The Authorities, that’s who is abusing the system!!
Council Tax has always been a burden to many, rich and poor alike. This year in particular, as many of the poorest, ie those on Benefits are having to face paying Council Tax for the first time. Under the new scheme, Council Tax Benefit has been replaced by Council Tax Support. They have to try and find an amount from their Benefits. That’s includes Unemployed, Sick and Disabled.
So, just how are the Local Authorities abusing the system? – I’ll tell you.
This is actually stated on Dover Council’s own website.
“Do I need to go to the court hearing?
You do not need to go to the court hearing unless you have a legal defence against the issue of a liability order. We are able to deal with any other concerns or queries you may have with you directly. You do not need to attend, however you may do so if you so wish.”
You do not have to attend the court hearing……..”
I could go on, showing you webpage after webpage but you get the drift.
Today it was the Turn of Southwark Council. Thousands had been summonsed to Camberwell Magistrates Court. To my knowledge the Council did everything to deter people from seeing the Magistrates.
They even had the arrogance to on paper to put in huge red bold letters “*IMPORTANT* You do not need to actually attend the Court”
I mean, How dare they?
How bloody dare they try and deter people from their access to Justice???
“What does that matter?” you ask. – First of all under Article 6 of the European Convention of Human Rights ‘everyone’ has the right to a fair trial.
Second: The fact is, these people are being summonsed because they are poor and for what ever reason have not managed to pay their Council Tax. When a Summons is issued, there is a cost. When a Liability Order is issued, there is a cost. Now, ‘if’ the ‘accused’ (we’ll call them that for want of a better word) were to be given access to the Magistrates, then at least they could tell them their plight and how they came to be in this situation. They CAN ask the Magistarate if the Costs could be waived due to hardship etc, thus keeping the debt to it’s minimum.
The costs range throughout the Country. Here in Cornwall it’s £60 in total. In Haringey I believe it is the region of £125. It has been found that the cost to produce a Liability Order is just £3.00!!!
So by not explaining to the Magistrate, you then have this extra amount added to you bill.
The only ones who are benefiting from this are the Local Authorities, you do the maths!! They are making a massive profit off the backs ot the poorest!!!
So, to conclude ANYONE reading this, my advice to you is if you have been summonsed for non payment of Council Tax, you attend and when you get there don’t be fobbed off by the Council. It is YOUR RIGHT – USE IT!!!!!!