The appeal will be heard by the Court of Appeal to morrow. It is a public hearing so please come if you are free. Justice or injustice should be seen to be done. The Royal Courts of Justice, The Strand, London WC2A 2LL It will start at 10.30.
Here is a comment about the decision in the High Court last week from a disabled member of TAP who has needed to be on the receiving end of the benefit system for many years and who was in court last week.
“In my personal view as someone who sat in at the start of the hearing on Tuesday and sat through the first 45 minutes of the verdict today, I’d say that the judge in question ignored the issue of people being left to starve, etc. Instead he focused on the fact? that Haringey’s procedures for the consultation followed legal Acts laid down by central government and sought to determine that ‘everyone paid an equal share’.
PRN Statement (1) This is the link to my evidence supporting the case, which was sent to the Judge and to Haringey Council. It focuses on financial needs of the 26,000 benefit claimants in Haringey who will have to pay the council tax for the first time from April if the decision in the High Court stands. 

My comments are as follows;

  1. There are no “equal shares”  of the council tax. It is related to the value of the property and not the size of the taxpayers income. Tenants do not own the property so they are being taxed on someone else’s wealth. It is a deeply regressive and unfair tax as everyone knows.  Haringey council is trying to pull the wool.
  2. Taking council tax out of benefits is also disproportionate and even more so when seen in the context of all the other reductions and caps. It will create unmanageable arrears which will be made worse by local authorities’ enforcement adding the costs of a liability order at £50 to £120  and the bailiffs up to another £400
  3. There is no attempt in this case, or by Haringey, to put a legal interpretation on the words “financial need” in the Local Government Finance Act – Clause 10 (1) 13A (2). 
  4. I and all the other council tax payers in Haringey I have a legitimate interest in all the decisions of the council. I am effected by all their decisions taken in my name so I vote in elections. The fact that none of us council tax payers were formally consulted seems enough to render the consultation unlawful; but that is not being discussed.  
We await the decision by the Appeal Court which may or may not be given tomorrow.