More families to pay no council tax in Stafford cost of living crisis plan

    21/12/2022


    council tax bill

    Changes to rules could see thousands of people in Stafford Borough not paying any council tax. 

    Stafford Borough Council are proposing changes to its Local Council Tax Reduction scheme which will mean some families will pay no council tax for the 2023/24 year. 

    The local authority said the move is aimed at helping residents hit hardest by the cost-of-living crisis. And the council stress that nobody will be worse off if the proposals are given the go ahead by elected members early next year. 

    It would mean more than 4,500 households will not have to pay Council Tax from April. Those eligible will have the reduction automatically applied and will not need to claim. 

    Like all local authorities, Stafford Borough has its own means tested support to reduce the council tax bills of those residents in lower income groups - and those working aged claimants can get up to an 80 percent reduction on their bill. Some pensioners, people with disabilities and parents of children under five can already claim up to a 100 percent reduction. 

    But with cost of living and energy bill increases making it even more difficult for residents the borough council is looking to let those working aged claimants on low pay get a 100 percent discount - and therefore have nothing to pay in the 2023-24 financial year.  

    Discounts of up to 60 percent will still be available for those whose income is higher - and you can find out more about it from A Guide to Housing Benefit and Local Council Tax Reduction | Stafford Borough Council (staffordbc.gov.uk) 

    The borough council collects council tax on behalf of other public sector organisations - such as Staffordshire County Council who have supported the potential changes. 

    Councillor Mike Smith, Cabinet Member for Resources, said: “We know some of our lowest income families are being hardest hit by the significant increases in energy bills and the rise in the cost of living for many everyday essential products and services and we are determined to help those most in need where we can. 

    “Around 1700 extra people in our community will benefit by not having to pay any council tax from April 2023 - and it is also important to stress that nobody will lose out from the proposed changes. 

    “I hope all councillors will be supportive of our approach” 

    A decision on the rule change will go before a meeting of the Council in February. People can comment on the proposals until late January.

    Press Release No 5986

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