Council’s tax benefit cuts are ‘Dickensian’ and ‘discriminatory’

CROYDON IN CRISIS: Now the council’s discredited leadership has the gall to claim that 80% of the borough’s residents support their arse-covering move to cut benefits from the poor, the disabled and elderly.

Croydon’s Labour-run council has been accused of being “manipulative” and using false claims to help justify its proposals to save £5million per year by cutting Council Tax Support for around 20,000 households across the borough.

For some hit by these benefit cuts, they will be as much as £116 per month worse off – a bigger hit to Croydon household incomes than the Tory government’s reductions to Universal Credit.

The cuts are being introduced by the cash-strapped council’s chief Hamida Ali and cabinet members Stuart King and Callton Young, all of whom worked under discredited leader Tony Newman in 2020 when he crashed the borough’s finances. Now, it is the disabled, the elderly and the most vulnerable in the borough who they are making pay for their own costly mistakes.

And as if to emphasise the Labour council’s continuing appalling poor judgement, the benefit cuts will start in April, just four weeks before the Town Hall elections, in another idiotic act of political self-harm.

Last night, they issued a press release with the results of their fixed “consultation”, in which the council claimed that their Council Tax benefit cuts are “backed by over 80 per cent of Croydon residents”.

Biased and misleading: council leader Hamida Ali

The council claims theirs is a “new” scheme – in the sense that it is not the old, more generous one and that it is somehow “fairer” because it is “based on income bands and will be easier to apply for and to administer”.

But as Inside Croydon reported last year, the six-week consultation was badly drafted, biased and misleading. Now, the council is withholding the details of the consultation results, which a disabilities rights activist suggest is because the whole exercise has been a fix from the start.

She also says that the cuts being justified by the consultation will be “Dickensian”, “discriminatory” and “dangerous”.

Adviser and advocate Sophia Moreau said today, “It is incredibly misleading to say 80 per cent of residents in Croydon support the Council Tax Support change proposals when the questions in the survey were manipulative, conceptual and vague,”

Moreau highlighted one of the self-serving questions in the council survey: “Do you believe that we should prioritise the most vulnerable/be fairer?” A “Yes” answer to that is what has been used by the council to justify their cuts.

Moreau said, “No breakdown of the Croydon Council Tax change survey results has been released publicly. We can’t see whether people supported the vague and manipulative questions on fairness and vulnerability, or the specifics of the proposed cuts to support.

“Worse still, the credibility of the results themselves is questionable. The questionnaire intro and promotion included a false claim that the Council Tax Support reform would be aligned with Universal Credit criteria (spoiler: it is actually harsher). Part-way through consultation, the website was edited to remove this false claim.

Critical: disability rights activist Sophia Moreau

“But the survey responses received during that time and following that misleading promotion were still taken into account, and no public notice of correction has been released. The local authority can’t prove the residents weren’t influenced by the false claim.

“It is worrying that the equality analysis of the Council Tax Support proposals has not been shared, despite the head of benefits and revenue committing to do so in November 2021.

“This is important because Croydon’s Council Tax proposals are peppered with discrimination.”

The proposals are expected to get rubber-stamped by the Labour majority at a council meeting on January 24.

“So much for consultation,” Moreau said.

“Many of us spent time outlining the faults in the formula and meeting officers. Still the faults harm vulnerable groups.”

Read more: Cynical, hypocritical and devious: benefit cut to hit thousands
Read more: Labour council benefit cuts will hit 20,000 ‘horrendously’

Become a Patron!

About insidecroydon

News, views and analysis about the people of Croydon, their lives and political times in the diverse and most-populated borough in London. Based in Croydon and edited by Steven Downes. To contact us, please email
This entry was posted in Callton Young, Council Tax, Croydon Council, Hamida Ali, Stuart King, Tony Newman and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Council’s tax benefit cuts are ‘Dickensian’ and ‘discriminatory’

  1. Patrick Ratnaraja says:

    Labour Party is looking after the vulnerable people who elected them. What is wrong with that? Did I miss something?

    • Patrick, you are missing something. Read the report again. It makes it clear that the Labour Party are betraying vulnerable people, whether or not they elected them. That’s what’s wrong.

Leave a Reply