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Council tax bills reduced for households most in need

News release issued:

Some of the poorest working age families in Wyre Forest are having their council tax bills reduced in a bid to help those struggling most as a result of Covid-19.

Wyre Forest District Council has paid out almost three quarters of a million pounds (£730,077) in relief to some of the district’s most disadvantaged residents.

Council staff have worked hard to process 4,887 claims from residents who qualify for its Council Tax Reduction Scheme, reducing bills by up to £150 using money from the Government’s hardship scheme which was announced at the Budget.

Council Leader Councillor Graham Ballinger said: “I am sure this will come as great comfort to many of our most disadvantaged residents who are struggling to make ends meet during the Coronavirus pandemic.

“I am immensely proud of our staff who have worked long and hard to process these claims in such a timely way, while at the same time coping with the huge demand for help from others who are in difficulties as a result of the ongoing situation.

“I would like to say thank you on behalf of all members of the council.”

As part of its response to COVID-19, the Government announced that it would provide local authorities in England with £500 million of new grant funding to support economically vulnerable working age people and households. Wyre Forest District Council received £952,367.

Councillor Ballinger said: “The number of households we have already supported underlines the need for Government to provide further funding to local authorities.  We know many more people have claimed Universal Credit in recent weeks and, if their claims are successful, they may also qualify for the Council Tax Reduction Scheme which the council will determine without the need for households to apply separately.

“We will automatically pay up to £150 relief for them as well – no one needs to claim for this extra funding. But there is a real fear that the amount we have received from the Government may not be sufficient, so I call on the Government to guarantee that it will top up the hardship funding if necessary.”

Further information about the Council Tax Reduction Scheme is available on our website.

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