In the past year, councils in England and Wales have sent bailiffs in to collect debts over two million times.
Ordinary working class people are struggling to get by. Zero-hour contracts, poverty pay and sky-high rents are the norm. Now we face the increasing threat of our own councils – including Labour – calling in the bailiffs!
The most vulnerable in society are being further penalised, and for what crime? Being poor!
Research by the Money Advice Trust shows using bailiffs not only worsens a person’s wellbeing, but actually deepens debts. Elsewhere in this issue of the Socialist, ordinary people respond to lethal benefit cuts. Increased use of bailiffs – up around 16% over the past two years – can only make things worse.
Cuts to council tax benefit are a major contributing factor. Taking property to cover such debts is the reason for most bailiff calls, although in repossession cases they can also evict tenants.
Councils are blaming central government cuts for the increase. This, however, is no excuse.
Instead of doing the Tory government’s dirty work, local authorities should refuse to pass on cuts. The Socialist Party says they must use their platform to lead residents and workers in a fightback.
Local campaigns have already taken it up. Attempted evictions, as a result of the bedroom tax, have been stopped by community campaigners coming together and refusing to let bailiffs in.
read more here: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/articles/21319