A scheme offering up to 100% reduction in council tax for low-income households has been agreed by the new Westmorland and Furness Council.
The council has approved a single, unified council tax reduction scheme that will come into effect from 1 April – supporting people on benefits or with low incomes.
It applies to working age residents in Westmorland and Furness. The amount of reduction received is based on income, if you have any savings and your personal circumstances, ie whether you have children, have a disability etc.
It is estimated that more than 13,000 households across Westmorland and Furness could be supported by the scheme.
The new unified scheme replaces the different council tax reduction schemes previously offered by Barrow Borough, Eden District and South Lakeland District councils, when those councils cease operations on 1 April.
Pensioners, subject to their income, can receive up to 100% support towards their council tax under a nationally administered scheme.
Barrow, Eden and South Lakeland councils were among fewer than 40 local authorities nationally that previously offered a fully-funded council tax reduction scheme for working age claimants. Westmorland and Furness Council’s decision to maintain the scheme at that level means residents on the lowest incomes will continue to receive the maximum amount of support with their council tax.
Councillor Andrew Jarvis, Westmorland and Furness Council’s finance portfolio holder, said: “This is a scheme that the council doesn’t have to offer, but we choose to do so because it helps protect people on low incomes.
“We are still one of the councils in the country that continues to fund up to 100% reductions in Council Tax for those eligible households.
“This scheme is one which makes a real contribution towards improving the financial wellbeing of people who could otherwise find themselves facing real hardship or struggling to pay their bills, especially during the current cost of living crisis.
“It underlines our Council Plan priority to support people in need and reduce inequalities in our communities and I would encourage people to check if they could be eligible for support.’’
More information and links to local area details are on our Council Tax reduction scheme web page.