From April 2021 low paid workers and other people of working age in poverty will get more help to pay their council tax following a decision by the council’s cabinet made on Thursday 10th December. (See here and here)

Some years ago, the government made local councils responsible for the funding of what was formerly council tax benefit.  Cash strapped councils were strongly tempted to slash benefit help for the very poorest- surely the cruellest cut.

The last administration made everyone pay at least 20% of their council tax, even if they had no income at all!  They also decided to assume that anyone who was self-employed earned a minimum amount, even if they did not.  Many people trying to set up new businesses suffered from this.

Last year the new administration decided to stop assuming that self-employed people were earning at least a minimum amount and instead to base their benefit on what they actually earned.

Now they have gone further and decided to cut the minimum amount that the poorest have to pay to 10% of the total bill.  That is a great step forward for the most vulnerable in our district- those that are forced to rely on food banks and others.

But with council tax at nearly £2,000 a year for a band C property, let’s hope that the council can reduce the minimum that everyone has to pay to nothing.