50 members of the community group Edinburgh Coalition Against Poverty surprised City finance leader Gordon Mackenzie at his surgery yesterday evening, demanding that he stop persecuting low income people struggling to pay their council tax.
ECAP presented Mackenzie, the architect of the new aggressive and immoral council tax arrears recovery, with a large mock ‘final notice’ letter. The letter warned him of his impending ‘moral bankruptcy’, and demanded that he end to the intimidation and harassment of low income families.
A Spokesperson for ECAP told a stunned and largely silent Mackenzie: “a large number of people are being targeted by your Sheriff Officers, and these people are being made to feel scared and intimidated in their own homes. We want this harassment stopped immediately”, to which Mackenzie replied: “It is council policy”.
With this action, ECAP are starting a campaign or resistance against sheriff officer harassment, and against the unfair Council Tax, and campaigning for a fairer tax, based on what people can afford.
ECAP consider it shocking that a councillor is bullying and intimidating people on low incomes into paying an unjust tax that is planned to be scrapped anyway. In the current economic crisis, households on low incomes are struggling with rising food prices and fuel poverty, and worrying about how secure their home and job is.