People across Lewes district are being asked their views on a proposal to increase financial support for low-income families and people in financial difficulty. A consultation was launched on Monday 2nd August and will run until 5pm on Sunday 31st October, about a proposed new Council Tax Reduction Scheme for 2022/23.
The government has stopped the national Council Tax Benefit Scheme and since April 2013, local authorities have had to run their own schemes to help working-age residents on a low income to pay their Council Tax.
The government sets the rules for the help given to those of pension age.
Councillor Zoe Nicholson, Leader of the Council and Cabinet Member for Finance and Assets, said: “I hope as many people as possible take this opportunity to give us their opinion about our proposal that has been designed to ensure people who are struggling get the support they need.
“With the impact of Covid being felt particularly sharply on those on low wages and in insecure work, we are committed to doing all we can to help our residents who have found themselves in the toughest of financial situations.”
The council’s proposed scheme would reduce Council Tax bills for the worst-off working-age people or those on the lowest incomes in the district. It would also remove the minimum income floor for the self-employed and there would be no minimum award value.
Councillor Chris Collier, Cabinet member for Performance and People, said: “The government put a stop to national Council Tax support for the most financially vulnerable, so I am pleased this scheme could mark the return of a lifeline for them. It is sorely needed in these difficult times.”
The cost of the scheme is shared between the preceptors: Lewes District Council, East Sussex County Council, Sussex Police, the Fire and Rescue Service and Town and Parish Councils in proportion to their share of Council Tax receipts.
Full details of the impact on costs are available here