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Nearly 2,000 less pensioners got council tax help in Wiltshire

Nearly 2,000 less pensioners got council tax help in Wiltshire

Published by Jack Deery at 12:47pm 25th February 2020.

2 minute read

New figures from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government show a 16% drop in numbers from four years ago.

From September to December last year, 10,335 pensioners in Wiltshire were claiming support under the Council Tax Reduction Scheme. 

That's 1,973 people fewer than were receiving help in the same period in 2015. 

Turn2us, a charity that helps people in financial hardship, has said that some may be missing out because of the complex and confusing way to apply. 

The Government says it has protected pensioners, and that they continue to receive the same level of support as under the previous system.

Old People Loneliness
There's almost 2,000 less pensioners receiving the support

Low-income households and elderly people in England can claim to have their council tax reduced thanks to the scheme set up in 2013, replacing the old benefit. 

Varuk Kanish, Campaigns Manager at Turn2us, said: 

"Not since the poll tax have so many low-income households had to pay local taxes.

The localisation of Council Tax Support schemes has increased the complexity of an already confusing system, resulting in more people missing out.

We urge the Government to review this system and consider automatic entitlement for people who are struggling."

BILLIONS IN FUNDING

Nationally, there was 17% drop in the amount of people receiving the benefit in the same period. 

But they have now announced a huge increase in funding. 

A Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government spokeswoman said:

"We’re committed to levelling up across the country with councils in England having access to £49.2 billion next year – the biggest annual real-terms increase in spending power in a decade.

Councils, not central government, are best placed to know what their communities need and are responsible for delivering services for residents, including providing an appropriate level of council tax support.

People experiencing difficulty paying their council tax should approach the billing authority to discuss their situation."

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