Public services

Keep The Council Tax Reduction!

In 2017, faced with budget cuts from central government, Bristol Mayor Marvin Rees planned to scrap Council Tax Reduction. This benefit provides a lifeline to low-income households by discounting or writing off entirely their council tax bill. ACORN saw this as an attack on working class people where those with the least would be forced by a Labour administration to foot the bill for Conservative government’s spending cuts.

Scrapping the reduction would have had serious consequences for low-income communities with people being forced by threat of prison to prioritise pay increased tax over necessities such as rent, food, heating and clothing. Our campaign mobilised thousands of Bristolians to reject the administration’s proposals as ACORN members put in the hard work knocking doors in the most affected areas, organising neighbourhood meetings and preparing if it came to it, to call for a mass non-payment campaign.

We also organised among the rank and file of the Labour party to add to the pressure on the Mayor and Councillors. Our members made it clear that the Mayor’s figures didn’t add up and that we were prepared to take serious direct action if he tried to push the proposals through.

In the end, Mayor Rees saw the writing on the wall and dropped the proposals. Our campaign stopped up to £8 million of cuts being passed on to the poorest 25,000 households in the city. While the Mayor guaranteed the scheme for another year, the law says it must be reviewed annually. Should the same thing be tried again our members will be ready to fight!