Keep The Council Tax Reduction!“Victory for campaign as mayor scraps council tax changes” – Bristol Cable
In 2017, faced with budget cuts from central government, Bristol Mayor Marvin Rees planned to scrap the Council Tax Reduction. This benefit provides a lifeline to low-income households by discounting or writing off entirely their council tax bill. ACORN saw that this would mean that those with the least would be forced to foot the bill for government spending cuts.
Scrapping the reduction would have had serious consequences for low-income communities, with people being forced by threat of prison to prioritise paying the increased tax over necessities such as rent, food, heating and clothing. Our campaign mobilised thousands of Bristolians to reject the administration’s proposals and ACORN members put in the hard work – knocking on 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 members of the Labour party to put 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 action if he tried to push the proposals through.
In the end, after three months of the campaign, Mayor Rees 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, so we will be ready to campaign again if we have to.
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