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Government cuts lead Hackney Council to ask struggling households to pay more council tax

PUBLISHED: 19:03 31 August 2017 | UPDATED: 19:03 31 August 2017

Hackney Town Hall. Picture: Isabel Infantes

Hackney Town Hall. Picture: Isabel Infantes

Archant

People who get help paying their council tax could see their bill rise by almost £100 under new plans from the cash-strapped town hall.

Hackney mayor Phil Glanville said huge government funding cuts have left the council with no choice but to increase the minimum amount paid by households of working age from 15 per cent to 20pc.

That affects the 32,000 people on the means-tested council tax reduction scheme (CTRS), although pensioners are excluded. At the moment the scheme costs the town hall £25.5million a year.

Mayor Glanville said: “When the government handed responsibility for administering council tax-related benefits to local government, it did so with a massive funding shortfall, on top of a huge reduction in overall funding for councils.

“It’s not been an easy decision to increase the minimum contribution we ask working age households to pay.

“We considered many other options, as detailed in the consultation paper, and we will continue to provide extra support for the most vulnerable people.”

The plans would see a single person with no children, receiving employment support allowance, living in a Band B property, paying £4.09 a week, up from £2.23.

The new proposals will however see care leavers exempt from paying council tax, while those escaping domestic abuse will not have to pay it for a second property.

Mayor Glanville said he thinks the plans represent the “fairest option” and encouraged people to have their say during a public consultation which runs until November 6.

To complete the consultation online click here. Anyone who would like to speak to someone about the scheme or want to request a paper copy, can call 020 8356 3399 or email benefits@hackney.gov.uk.

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