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Friday, 15 July 2016

A poem against applying Council Tax payments on already substandard benefit incomes

The below is a reworking of a 1982 poem that was a reaction against inclusion of dole incomes in 1982 as 'taxable income'. It has been updated to relate to the application of Council Tax to benefit incomes, which is a much more life-threatening issue.

In 1982 the inclusion of Unemployment Benefit plus Housing Benefit incomes was to apply to a person's total income for a year would only render them liable to pay income tax once the increased income on getting a job or other source of income brought their total income above their tax threshold. Now, application of Council Tax to benefit incomes renders 'basic' or in reality substandard incomes a mockery according to the 'Wednesbury Principles of reasonableness'':
"Officials’ decisions must take into account all relevant facts, ignore irrelevant facts and be rational."(1)
I, as a poor person, am rewriting it in honour of Revd Paul Nicolson of Taxpayers Against Poverty's stance against the levying of Council Tax on DWP benefit claimants, and his application of the Wednesbury Principles of reasonableness' to his case in support of vulnerable people, while there are 'key decision makers' who say that he has no right to speak up for poor people in this because he is not a person of substandard means himself.(2) (3)


Some laws are made behind our backs
Such as subjecting dole money to Council Tax!
Do cushioned councillors in our Town Hall
Have any love for me at all?
Here am I — long unemployed,
'Twixt them and me an awful void: —
On their work they seem to thrive
While the poor are struggling to survive!
What must it take for them to see
They rob themselves of humanity?
Still though they make it ever harder
I must pray for them with greater ardour!
Poem by Alan: the Poet Therapeutic © 1982, 2016 by Alan Raymond Wheatley

Blog post by Dude Swheatie of Kwug, aka Alan Wheatley and Alan: The Poet Therapeutic

NB: Both Taxpayers Against Poverty and the Kilburn Unemployed Workers Group are made up of people of various religious faiths and none.

Link addresses

  1. http://z2k.org/tag/wednesbury-principles/
  2. http://taxpayersagainstpoverty.org.uk/news/what-councils-dont-tell-you-about-the-enforcement-of-council-tax
  3. http://taxpayersagainstpoverty.org.uk/news/rev-paul-v-haringey-adjourned

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