Time running out to have say on plans to help low-income households 


    There is still time for residents, businesses and organisations to have their say on proposals that would see more people in Stafford Borough not paying any council tax.

    Stafford Borough Council are looking at changes to its Local Council Tax Reduction Scheme which will mean an extra 1700 households 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 next month.

    The change would mean around 4,500 will not have to pay Council Tax from April. Those eligible will have the reduction automatically applied and will not need to claim.

    People have until Friday 27 January to comment on the plans at www.staffordbc.gov.uk/lctrconsultation

    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 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 income 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 from the council website.

    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: “I hope people will take the opportunity to look at the proposed changes to the scheme and give us their comments.

    “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.”

    “It is also important to stress that nobody will lose out from the proposed changes.” 

    A decision on the change will go before a meeting of the Council in February.

    Press Release No 5994

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