Changes to council tax benefit – residents urged to have their say

Bank notes and pound coinsResidents in Blaby district are being urged to have their say on how council tax support should be provided from April 2013.

Currently central government fully funds a national council tax benefit scheme, which supports residents on low incomes who need help to pay their council tax.

But that funding will be cut by 10% from next April, which means Blaby District Council will face a £460,000 shortfall in meeting current demands to pay benefits to residents.

Blaby District Council is seeking views from residents on the best way to achieve an affordable scheme that will continue to support the most vulnerable members of the community, but will also provide value-for-money and protect other services for all residents.

However the Government’s reforms will force the council to consider changing discounts and exemptions that are currently in place, including reductions for second homes and unoccupied properties.

Blaby District Council leader Ernie White said:

“The cuts to funding mean we have some tough decisions ahead, so we are urging residents to have their say and take part in the consultation. It’s vital to work out what is best for Blaby district, and also make sure our most vulnerable residents are not affected by the changes.”

The public consultation begins on Tuesday August 7 and will run until Friday September 28. It will be available online at www.blaby.gov.uk/ctbischanging

We will also be consulting with existing claimants and other interested parties.

Council tax support will replace council tax benefit as part of wider changes being implemented by central government to reform the benefit system and reduce worklessness.

For more information, visit www.blaby.gov.uk/ctbischanging, email ctbischanging@blaby.gov.uk or call 0116 272 7510.

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