Legal case launched in protest at tax changes
AN ANONYMOUS campaigner is preparing to mount a legal challenge to a council's cuts to tax benefit.
Stoke-on-Trent City Council has been hit with notice from a firm of solicitors representing an unnamed client, warning that it faces legal action over its new council tax support scheme.
The Labour-run authority will hit 20,000 households who currently have their tax bill covered by benefits with a 30 per cent charge from April.
The Government is scrapping tax benefit and paying councils to set their own discounts – but cuts mean the authority has £17.6 million to pay for benefits which cost £24 million a year.
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Legal officer Gerry Clarke said: "The grounds of the challenge are that the city council failed properly to consult on its proposals and that it failed to give due regard to its obligations under the Equality Act.
"The city council's legal and finance team have been working on this, we've consulted with a very senior barrister.
"Officers are firmly of the view that any potential challenge identified in the letter is ill-founded and without merit and can be robustly defended."