Citizen’s Advice Bureau – help available

Cab document for councillorsThe Sefton Citizen’s Advice Bureau has produced a large brochure for Councillors detailing all the latest Welfare Reform chamges as included in the “Welfare Reform Act 8/3/2012”

If you are a resident of Victoria ward and would like to know more about any aspect of the reforms then please contact me

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by EMail :-  michael.roche@councillors.sefton.gov.uk

If you wish me to make a home visit or for for phone advice please phone me on 0750 529 7469

If you get the news from the BBC/ITV/SKY or Tory newspapers you probably don’t know that…

NHS

From April 1st the NHS will no longer exist in it’s current form and will be moving to full privatisation on the US model.

Dr Lucy Reynolds Interview in the British medical journal

TAX CUTS

For the 1.5 per cent of earners who make over £150,000 a year, the top rate of income tax will be reduced from 50 per cent to 45 per cent on 6 April. The move will benefit the UK’s 13,000 income millionaires by an average of £100,769 a year.

The reduction of the minimum threshold to £10,000  benefits higher earners vastly more than lower earners and doesn’t affect the lowest paid.

Beer Duty. You would need to drink 350 pints of Guinness to get a free one.

BENEFITS

Social Security awards of all types are capped at only1% for the next 3 years,  whilst inflation varies between 3-5% and is forecast to be higher thereby cutting Social Security payments  potentially by 12% and probably more.

The ToryLibdems have ordered savings from the housing benefit budget of £465 million to be found by setting a tax on families defined to be under-occupying Housing association properties. “The Bedroom Tax”  Costing families around £100 -£120 per month.  The scheme  ignores the practicalities:-

* The cost of moving would outweigh the savings of paying the tax for many. 

* Moving to a private rent would require two months advance rent in most cases. Rent in the private sector is higher. Where would anyone on low income find this? Anyway most private landlords do not accept those on Housing Benefit (or with pets)

* There are very, very few smaller properties available anyway. 

* If most of those affected did move there wouldn’t be any savings made. The small amount of freed properties would not make the slightest dent on  housing waiting lists containing millions of families not tens of thousands.

* Disabled people and their families are disproportionately affected and the only Government help offered (the discretionary fund) is worth £2.51 per week against a rent support shortfall of £14

COUNCIL TAX

Support for council tax has been “reformed” now most of the lowest paid, claimants and vulnerable will have to find; in many cases around £30 per month for this new POLL TAX

LEGAL AID

Legal Aid for Social Security appeals, unfair dismissal  and other social based cases has been ceased from April 1st. Denying justice to to the lowest paid, claimants and the most vulnerable.

CITIZENS ADVICE  BUREAUX

Funding for the already overstretched CAB is reduced from £33 million to £2 million. Further denying support advice to the lowest paid, claimants and the most vulnerable.

WORKFARE

This month the government applied retrospective legislation denying payments to claimants who had been illegally mandated to work for the Workfare scheme and had lost significant amounts of Social Security payments.

SOCIAL FUND/CRISIS LOANS

These have now been stopped and a miniscule fund devolved to Councils many of who’m have decided to replace cash payments with pre-loaded gift cards for use in certain stores.

FOODBANKS

The use of Foodbanks has tripled from 41,000 to 129,000 since the ToryLibdems formed the coalition.

YOUTH UNEMPLOYMENT

Has risen 48,000 to 993,000 in the last qtr

A one-off 28% capital gains tax on the recent increase in wealth of the top 1,000 richest in the UK would pay off the deficit and still leave the richest with millions in profit each. That would free money for a massive building program to build desperately needed social housing. Thus creating hundreds of thousands of jobs and would  reduce Social Security repayments.  

When the ToryLibdems are kicked out and humiliated in 2015. The incoming Labour Government will have great difficulty turning back the clock on NHS privatisation. It must be done. 

Workfare must stop, everyone deserves a living wage. If they’ve got it they spend it, if they spend it, that spending  creates Growth. 

All the indecencies inflicted by this uncaring, inhumane government on the poorest and most vulnerable must be overturned.  

Advice from shelter for those affected by bedroom tax

shelter_logoFrom April 2013, if you live in a council or housing association home and claim housing benefit, new under occupancy rules could mean cuts to your housing benefit. Find out if you are affected. CLICK HERE 

‘Bedroom tax’ introduces new rules from April 2013 for people claiming housing benefit for their council or housing association homes. There will be a limit on the number of bedrooms housing benefit will help pay for.

Q & A CLICK HERE

homless  - shelter poster

 

Tesco Charity Trust

This charity Trust  will consider funding applications from people who live in areas where Tesco “Has a presence”. we have a Tesco Metro in Victoria ward on Coronation Road. So Victoria residents & community groups may apply. I will bring this to the attention of “Friends Of Carnegie Library“.

FRom The Tesco Charity Trust Website:-

logo_siteThe Trust was set up on 1 June 1987 to support both national and local community charities, and to add a 20% top up to staff fundraising. It is run by a board of trustees recommended by the main board of Tesco PLC.

 In the year ending February 2012, the Tesco Charity Trust made cash grants of over £2 million to local, national and international charities. This figure includes: Community Award donations to local community charities totalling almost £700,000; Donations to other charities totalling almost £600,000; Over £700,000 in 20% top up on staff fundraising for Tesco Charities of the Year, Cancer Research UK and other charities.

The Tesco Charity Trust aims to help Tesco support the local communities in which we operate.

To Visit the website CLICK HERE

Guide Dogs for the Blind

158458942There are a surprising number of Blind or partially sighted residents in Victoria ward. I always try to defend accessibility rights for the blind wherever I can.

Guide dogs for the blind now receives no Government funding and needs your help if you can, even more than ever. There are collection boxes in many of  our local traders establishments or you might like to sponsor a Guide Dog Puppy CLICK HERE

27945_Guide Dog sit