The Socialist

The Socialist 19 March 2014

Smash the pay freeze

The Socialist issue 803

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Pensioner jailed for non-payment

Ross Longhurst of Nottingham, aged 72 and a longstanding campaigner, has been jailed for 28 days for not paying his council tax. Ross refused to pay in protest and wrote before his hearing:

"For the fourth year running Nottingham city council are imposing cuts on local services which target the most vulnerable sections of the community such as children and old people.

"This is part of the Coalition government's war on the poor and the Labour-controlled council are slavishly implementing the cuts."

Cathy Meadows, chair, Nottingham Stop the Bedroom Tax/ Defend Council Tax Benefits Campaign gave our solidarity to Ross on Radio Nottingham and to any people who feel so angry at the injustice they are making a stand, even if not affected themselves.

Cathy said that many people are forced to choose between food, fuel, council tax and rent because of cuts to benefits, and cannot afford to pay council tax.

People whose income was so low that they were considered too poor a year ago to pay council tax are now being told to pay yet their income is still low.

And from this April, the minimum amount Nottingham city council (with a massive Labour majority) is charging will be 20% of council tax.

Cathy said the council should stop harassing people, stop sending bailiffs and stop threatening people with eviction.

The campaign is clear: The council should not pursue people for council tax or rent arrears if their benefit has been cut or if people are now being asked to pay council tax / increased council tax because of the austerity measures.

Cathy said that in the short term the council should use its reserves to cover the costs. The council should be working with the community and trade unions to demand the necessary money from the government.

Write to: Prisoner A0329DE, Ross Longhurst, HM Prison Nottingham, 112 Perry Road, Nottingham NG5 3AG.

Nottingham Stop the Bedroom Tax/Defend Council Tax Benefits Campaign gives advice to people to help support them when they receive letters from the council or social landlord including court letters.

  • On the day Ross was jailed, the thisisnottingham website reported that a businessman was "spared prison after 4 million of fake goods were found." Nottingham Magistrates' Court sentenced the man to eight weeks in prison, suspended for 12 months.

In this issue

Socialist Party news and analysis

Smash the pay freeze

Tony Benn: steadfast in speaking out for socialism

After Bob Crow and Tony Benn: We fight on!

No to bosses' EU - For a socialist Europe

Unite to end racism and cuts

Osborne's more cuts budget

Oxfam report: A tale of capitalist inequality

Them & Us

International socialist news and analysis

Crimea referendum will not deliver peace and stability

South Africa: WASP registers for the 2014 elections

Activists in the US demand $15 Now!

Socialist Party workplace news

Defend education: Solidarity with teachers' strike

Doncaster care workers determined to win

Ealing hospital workers fight miserly Medirest

Workplace news in brief

Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Fight for real jobs for young people

Election Appeal: Put your money where the struggle is!

Get your May Day Greetings in

Pensioner jailed for non-payment

TUSC campaigning in Derby

Obituary: Stan Pearce, a Militant miner

Readers' comments and reviews

Review: Call the Midwife

Genetic Modification: A contribution to the debate


Home   |   The Socialist 19 March 2014   |   Join the Socialist Party

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19 March 2014