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Views wanted on changing council tax reduction scheme

Ealing Council is consulting on proposed changes to its council tax reduction (CTR) scheme to help those who are in difficulty, especially because of the cost of living crisis.

The CTR scheme is already available to those who struggle to pay the full council tax and, in some instances, those eligible can receive 100% council tax reduction.

Now, the council is consulting on its idea of increasing the maximum entitlement of CTR to people to provide help for residents who need it most. It would focus on supporting those who are currently in the non-protected category and mean an increase from 75% to 80% for those who fall into the lowest income band, or whose household weekly income is no higher than £124.33. Pensioners would not be affected by the proposed change, and they will continue to receive the same level of support they currently get.

Help for those who need it

Councillor Steve Donnelly, the council’s cabinet member for inclusive economy, said: “We made a commitment in the Council Plan to maintain and expand our council tax reduction scheme to support and protect those who cannot afford to pay.

“This proposed change represents a 5% increase in the money the council sets aside to specifically help those who are the least well off in our communities. It will ensure that they pay less towards their council tax, allowing them to keep more of their money and help with the rising cost of living.”

Unwavering commitment

Councillor Bassam Mahfouz, cabinet member for decent living incomes, added: “As part of our unwavering commitment to support residents facing this unprecedented cost of living crisis and worried about the very real increasing costs of energy and everyday living costs, we are proposing this change to our already progressive council tax support scheme.

“This consultation is about a small change, that, with the support of those completing the consultation, will make a big difference to the lives of so many residents during these incredibly trying times. Please take a few moments to go online and complete the consultation so we can make that difference.”

Increase of entitlement

The proposed change will not reduce any current entitlement but will increase the entitlement for working age claimants who fall into the non-protected category with a weekly net household income of no more than £124.33. Pensioners and other income bands will not be affected by this proposed change, and they will continue to receive the same level of support they currently receive.

The council would spend approximately £300,000 on its council tax reduction scheme if it is approved.

The consultation will be open until 7 November 2022 and the survey link and further information can be found on the council’s website.

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