What do YOU think about Tonbridge & Malling Borough Council's tax reduction scheme?
By kentsussex | Tuesday, September 04, 2012, 10:47
Tonbridge & Malling Borough Council is consulting its residents and other interested parties for their views on its draft council tax reduction scheme, which will come into effect from 1 April 2013...
At present, all councils operate, on behalf of central Government, a national council tax benefit scheme.
However, the Government has decided that this national scheme will end on 31 March 2013 and all councils will have to design and operate their own schemes of support (known as council tax reduction schemes).
Councils will receive a Government grant to enable them to continue to provide council tax support for their residents, but this grant will probably be about 10 per cent less than the amount currently received.
Therefore, all councils will have to decide how their schemes will work with 10 per cent less funding.
Although pensioner households will not be affected by the changes, working-age people will see a reduction in the amount of help they receive.
Tonbridge & Malling Borough Council is directly consulting working-age benefit claimants; a range of council tax payers who do not claim benefit; and many organisations who have an interest in the subject.
The draft scheme and further information is available on the Council's website at www.tmbc.gov.uk/counciltaxbenefit.
The website also contains a short survey, which can be completed by any resident who hasn't been directly consulted and would like their views to be taken into account.
For questions or advice, email the Council at email@example.com or call 01732 876359.
Cllr Martin Coffin, Tonbridge & Malling Borough Council's Cabinet Member for Finance, says: "The new draft Kent-wide scheme has been designed to ensure that everyone claiming council tax benefit in Kent is treated the same way.
"Many people who are of working age and claiming council tax benefit will still be able to receive a significant amount towards their monthly bill. As required by law, pensioners will not see any change to their benefits.
"But we want to hear what people think about the proposed scheme – it's still a draft document and may yet change depending upon the comments we receive. We really do value our residents' input, as the results will shape the way we implement this change."
The consultation closes on Friday 5 October. All comments received during the consultation will be considered when councillors meet to agree the final scheme later this year.