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Council Tax Benefit

Volume 560: debated on Monday 18 March 2013

Council tax benefit was abolished and replaced by local council tax support schemes in the financial settlement and will take effect from 1 April. We must remember that council tax benefit spending more than doubled under the previous Administration. Our reforms mean that local authorities will have control over what they do locally and an incentive to drive local economic growth.

Thousands of the poorest families in my constituency are facing huge council tax rises as a result of the changes to council tax benefits. Will the Minister try to justify on the one hand slapping down poor people—people who live from hand to mouth day after day—while on the other hand giving millionaires tax cuts?

I call on the hon. Gentleman to put pressure on his local authority to come up with a really good scheme that delivers good local growth and protects people. The Government have put in place support to protect the most vulnerable, as well as setting out guidelines to protect pensioners. I am disappointed that he could not persuade his local authority to do the right thing, like many Conservative authorities are doing.