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Have your say on proposed changes to council tax benefits
9:33am Monday 10th September 2012 in News
Wiltshire residents are being asked to have their say on a new locally-run Council Tax Support scheme.
Council tax benefit is a national scheme which people can receive if they pay council tax and their income and savings are below a certain level.
From April next year, the Government is stopping the national council tax benefit scheme and asking councils to introduce and run a new discount scheme.
Wiltshire Council has set up a consultation to explain the changes and ask residents for their opinion on the new Council Tax Support scheme. The consultation is now open and closes Wednesday,
October 30, 2012.
Wiltshire Council spends around £27 million on council tax benefit and this is currently funded in full by central government. When the new scheme is introduced, the amount of funding available
will be reduced by about 10-14 percent (approximately £2.7million-£3.5m). The final funding figure should be available by December 2012.
John Thomson, cabinet member for housing, said: “With the reduction in Government funding, we will have to make some tough choices about who gets help and how much. In coming up with these
proposals we have looked carefully at the potential impact on everyone and we are aiming to be as fair as possible. These proposals ensure the elderly are protected, everybody pays something,
people are encouraged to work.
“It is vital that all residents, whether or not they receive council tax benefit, look very carefully at the proposals and let us know what they think.“
It is anticipated people of pensionable age will not be affected by these changes but households with working age residents may be affected.
To view the proposals www.wiltshire.gov.uk/counciltaxsupportscheme or to request a paper copy call 0300 456 0100. The council is also on hand to help and support those who think they may be affected by the changes.