SHOULD anyone be exempt from paying council tax?
The question can be asked after residents lost a High Court case against Sheffield Council’s decision to withdraw 100 per cent exemption from council tax.
Up to this year, several thousand of the city’s poorest people have received 100 per cent council tax benefits.
But the Government has cut funding for council tax benefits by 10 per cent, which is equal to around £5m in Sheffield.
Households which previously paid nothing will now have to pay at least 23 per cent of full council tax – at least around £5 per week.
Some will say it’s about time. There is much anger vented towards a benefits system which can sometimes appear to reward those who have done the least.
But we have to remember that this same system is a lifeline for many deserving cases and to suddenly have a bill when money is tight will be tough to take.
Time will tell whether this is a cruel move which hits the wrong people or one which was justified in such austere times.
We will monitor the situation with interest.
We’re giving you the WOW factor!
WE hope you enjoy our new look entertainment guide WOW24/7 which you’ll find in this edition of The Star.
Our designers have been working to give it a modern, fresher look while our editorial team beaver away to give you the best possible content.
Today is just the first stage in improving your local newspaper.
Our nostalgia supplement Retro will be next to be printed with a new look on Saturday and more changes will follow in the coming weeks.
Your views are really important to us so do get in touch and let us know what you think of the changes.
And thanks for your continued support as we keep working to make The Star the great local newspaper Sheffield deserves.
A message to share
ABDOOL Gooljar is an example to us all.
The President of The Islamic Society of Great Britain has fought tirelessly to build bridges between faiths and races in Sheffield.
At a time when Islam is continually linked with negative stories, it is as well to remind ourselves what the religion truly stands for. Integration can only come with mutual understanding and Abdool’s message of peace and tolerance is one we can share.