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Council tax support could be cut for Redbridge residents

PUBLISHED: 10:00 12 September 2015

Redbridge Town Hall Photo credit: Redbridge Council

Redbridge Town Hall Photo credit: Redbridge Council

Justin Setterfield

Redbridge Council are running a consultation on reducing the amount of council tax relief residents are eligible for.

Due to budgetary pressures the council is proposing to reduce the maximum support for all working age households to 80 per cent or 85pc.

A house receiving full council tax reduction from 2016 to 2017 would have to pay either £4.41 or £3.33 per week.

That equates to between £173 and £229 per year.

A council spokesman explained: “The Council is now facing unprecedented financial pressures and has to make very significant budget savings.

“If the council does not increase the amount it asks people to pay, it would have to find the money from other sources, for example, by reducing services.

“It is therefore reviewing the amount of support it can afford to offer people through the Council Tax Reduction Scheme and is considering increasing the amount it asks working people to pay.”

The council confirmed that pensioners would continue to receive an 100pc reduction.

John Kruse, debt advisor at Redbridge Citizens Advice Bureau, said it was an issue for many people that he saw.

He explained: “Alongside cuts in housing benefit and so on it is another demand on their income.

“Quite often because it is only a few pounds a week it is one that gets neglected.”

Mr Kruse explained the problems were caused when people delayed paying the council.

“When it becomes a lump sum that needs to be paid immediately, if you are on job seekers allowance that lump sum is not there.

“It is compounded by court costs that can be much more than the original amount owed.”

Mr Kruse explained if someone was taken to court for missing council tax payments, they would be charged £129 in court fees.

More than 12,500 residents in the borough could be affected by the proposed changes.

The council spokesman added: “No decisions have been made and we want residents to give us their views on the proposed changes.”

The consultation runs until November 8. To contribute visit https://eforms.redbridge.gov.uk/council-tax-reduction-consultation/.

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