Photography by Margot Imlah

Care Tax

 

What is it?

It is an unjust levy on people who need assistance to get out of bed in the morning, go to the toilet and move their arms and legs. It is a tax on people's lives for those, who like me, need personal support to facilitate an independent life. 

I first started to question the Care Tax when I was approaching my last year at university. It  seemed bizarre that the government gave me a budget for support - support that I need due to my health condition SMA Type 2 - and then found ways to take away the already-piecemeal budget by using my "income" [which included my student bursary, loan and employment support benefits]. 

I realised after some time that I was not the only person affected by this issue. Another 10,000 people in Scotland face these charges, forcing them to live in poverty under an ableist system.

In the UK, people may earn up to £11,000 before paying any tax on their earnings. The Care Tax threshold begins at as little as £90 per week. Yes, take that in. And no matter how much you earn, the council can decide to take away up to 100% of anything you earn over that £90 threshold. 

 

I'm proud to be one of the people campaigning to #fightcaretax. Scotland Against The Care Tax is the main organisation campaigning on this issue - please do head over to their social media to keep up to date and offer support. 

 

Tax on Me, my hip-hop protest film, received press attention and provoked a parliamentary motion which praised its impact on bringing to light human rights issues faced by thousands of disabled people across the UK, as well being a catalyst for policy change. I made this film in collaboration with award winning production company, media co-op, during my 3 month internship which was funded by Inclusion Scotland

So far only cosmetic changes have been made to the Care Tax - I explain this in my second video, where I asked Nicola Sturgeon to join me in abolishing this unjust system. 

Despite persistent campaigning, the Care Tax has still not been abolished and so the fight is still not over.

 

Keep tuned for a third video to push for abolishing the Care Tax! Third time lucky they say. 

In the meantime, you can help me - yes YOU. Especially if you're not affected by the Care Tax and have an insta-perfect life.

 

Here's the drill: share the Tax on Me video on social media with the hashtag #StillTaxedForLife; write to your politicians to demand abolition of the Care Tax, and ask your friends, family and next door neighbour to join in the fight.  

Copyright 2020 All rights reserved to KKreative/Kiana Kalantar-Hormozi

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