The amount you need to live on

Currently it says on benefit letters for Income Support and Jobseekers Allowance ‘The amount the law says you need to live on’. That amount has been calculated on the basis that means tested benefits assume that recipients of such benefits do not pay rent or council tax.

From April of this year, benefits change. We will see universal benefits caps and those stop benefits at a ceiling regardless how many children you have. But that does not assume that single claimants or small families that would fall under the benefits cap would have an amount to live on that the law says they need.

Also the universal benefit will not be paid to old claimants straightaway. Normal benefits will still be paid the old-fashioned way to people.

If Haringey council wins their bid to charge benefit recipients 20% of the council tax then that means that the law will assume that these people need that amount less to live on; yet not all councils charge that minimum payment of 20% of the council tax to all.

As I understand from this article severely disabled residents will be exempt from the council tax. overall though disabled residents get far more benefits than Jobseekers or income support pays.

Nowadays people on Jobseekers or Income Support are pretty much on the bread line already,  so how much does the government say we can be squeezed. Irwin Mitchell lawyers have taken the brave step to represent the disadvantaged before the courts to sort out the dilemma.

There would be no limit as to what a minimum living standard should be if councils can charge council tax to the already destitute. Living standards will fall well below the poverty line even further as they have fallen already.

Considering the government also wants to get rid of tax credits, that will also severely affect the workers on low wages because their standard of living will also erode considerably because the law will no longer assume a minimum standard as a safety net.

But it is probably of significance that the council that gave us Baby P, also are the first to introduce 20% council tax for the destitute to pay.

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