Councils: please don’t charge single parents for receiving child maintenance
Gingerbread has found that 26 local councils in England are now counting child maintenance as income when calculating whether single parents can afford to pay their council tax bill in full. This means single parents living in these areas are effectively being charged if they receive child maintenance, even though this is financial support from a separated parent specifically for their children. We believe this is wholly unfair.
In response, Gingerbread is calling on the 26 councils (listed below) to reverse their decision.
Many of the councils have openly acknowledged that the introduction of this new method for calculating council tax support will disproportionately hit single parent families – a large proportion of whom will be out of work with no earnings. Single parents have already been hit hard by multiple government cuts at a time of rising prices and pressure on earnings. This latest cut risks not only pushing more single parents into poverty but also increasing the rates of child poverty in the local councils affected.
We are writing to the Council leaders and Chief Executives at the 26 councils who have taken this decision, providing a briefing which sets out why child maintenance is so important for low income single parent families, and explaining why we believe that counting child maintenance for council tax support purposes is a backward step.
Below is a list of the councils who are including child maintenance as income in council tax support calculations.
Would you like to get involved with our campaign? If you live in any of the affected areas and want to send your own message to your council telling them why you think child maintenance should be protected, please use this link to find the contact details of your local councillor and write to them.
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