The borough council has announced a package of measures through its Council Tax Support scheme to continue to support working age people in the area.
Working-age people in receipt of Council Tax Support will receive support this year through a Hardship Payment provided by the borough council.
In March 2020, as part of its Covid-19 response, the government announced it would provide funding for local authorities to award additional relief to working age people receiving Council Tax Support (CTS) during 2020/2021. The borough council has funding still available from this scheme and has decided to extend it in west Norfolk during 2021/2022.
To stay within the available funding a maximum award of £100 is being awarded to eligible people. Council tax bills are now being updated and will be sent to customers over the coming weeks. The same eligibility criteria will be used to continue the scheme into the next financial year.
In addition, the borough council is now consulting on its Council Tax Support scheme for 2022/2023 and is proposing to increase the maximum help working age people can receive towards their council tax bill from 75% to 84%.
The proposal means eligible residents will need to contribute a minimum of 16% to their council tax bill rather than the current 25%. This potential increase has been made possible because of the council’s financial management during Covid-19 and demonstrates a commitment to identify ways to support people in the borough.
Cllr Sam Sandell, Cabinet member for People and Communities, explains: “The Hardship Payment helps some of the people in our community at a time when they may be experiencing further financial pressures.
“We also want to increase the help we give people through our Council Tax Support scheme next year and are now in a position to propose offering additional aid through an increase in the maximum financial assistance we can provide.
“We recognise that there may be longer term impacts from the pandemic and we want to support some of our residents on lower income through the next 18 months.”
Cllr Stuart Dark MBE, Leader of the borough council, added: “The impact of Covid-19 continues to affect our residents. I’m pleased to see that we can continue this hardship payment in west Norfolk to help people who truly need it.
“We have also looked at where else we can make a difference and, after financial review, we are now able to propose making the Council Tax Support scheme more generous to support residents who need extra help. This includes nearly 300 families and couples, 650 lone parents and over 1000 single people on low income.”
To respond to the consultation, click here