When news happens, text CIT and your photos and videos to 80360. Or contact us by email or phone.
Poorest families on Chorley to be hit by council tax changes
8:00am Saturday 9th February 2013 in News
Hundreds of the poorest families in Chorley will be expected to pay a contribution to their council tax for the first time due to changes to the benefits system.
In a sweeping reform of the benefits system, town halls are being given the responsibility for collecting council tax benefit from April.
In Chorley, all claimants of working age will be asked to contribute at least 7.5 per cent of the bill. Previously many had 100 per cent relief from the tax.
Councillor Peter Wilson, the deputy leader of Chorley Council, said: “The government has insisted that all councils implement a new local scheme for council tax benefits and exemptions in a bid to reduce the cost of welfare.
“After consulting with residents last year, we’ve put together what we think is the fairest option in the timescales available to us by protecting as many people as possible. In Chorley, there will be a 7.5 per cent reduction for claimants of working age, plus in separate changes there will also be a reduction in exemptions for properties that are ‘second homes’ or left vacant.
“We have to implement this scheme in April but we have done our best to minimise the impact on residents across the Chorley borough.”
It means that people living in a Band A property, rated at £986.84 per year, would face a bill for 7.5 per cent of that, which is £74 per year. This equates to £6.17 per month or £1.42 per week.
Elsewhere in Lancashire claimants will be hit harder.
For instance those in Blackburn with Darwen and Pendle will face higher rises, as they have both opted for schemes with 20 per cent levies.
The council has also said there will be some support available to those who will find it difficult to survive when benefits are cut.
For further advice on the issue, call the council directly on 01257 515151.