Proposed council tax support change would benefit vulnerable residents in Burnley
A change has been proposed to Burnley Council’s council tax support scheme that would benefit thousands of households.
The council is proposing to increase the level of subsidy to 100% for eligible working age claimants for one year only to help alleviate some of the financial hardship caused by the current national cost-of-living crisis.
A report will be discussed by the council’s scrutiny committee before it goes to its executive on February 13th. The executive is recommended to ask the full council to approve and adopt the changes as part of its overall budget-making process for the coming financial year.
There are currently 9,869 households in the borough claiming council tax support, of which 70% (6,933) are people of working age. Working age claimants receive a subsidy of up to 85% on their council tax bill, leaving them with £161 for a single person and £215 on a standard bill for a band A property to pay each year.
The proposal would see a temporary increase in the subsidy to 100% for the 2023/24 financial year before returning to 85% in 2024/25.
The cost to the council would be approximately £134,000 which would be paid from its revenue support reserve.
A public consultation on the proposal found that two-thirds of people who responded were in favour of the temporary increase, which would mean that eligible residents would not have to pay any council tax in 2024/25.
Coun. Sue Graham, deputy council leader executive member for resources and performance management, said: “This change would help ease the financial burden for families and individuals for the coming year.
“We recognise that everyone is finding it hard at the moment. This is targeted at some of our most vulnerable residents who are really struggling to make ends meet and who need this kind of support to help pay for food and heating.”
The national government has determined how far district councils such as Burnley can increase the level of council tax. Last year’s proposed budget saw Burnley Council working to the limit set nationally, which meant an increase in household council tax bills of 1.99%.