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Council Tax in South Devon: there may be trouble ahead...

By DocTorre  |  Posted: October 19, 2012

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Thousands of the poorest South Devon households face a Council Tax rise in 2013 following welfare reforms.

Councils are to be put in charge of council tax benefits as the overall budget for rebates is reduced by 10 per cent. As a result, local authorities are now proposing to effectively end the 100 per cent council tax discount for low-income families.

As pensioners are to be protected against any reduction, many working-age claimants are likely to face an increase in Council Tax of hundreds of pounds.

Accordingly, all residents – except pensioners – will pay at least 25% or 30% of their bill from April if the plans put out for consultation by local councils go ahead.

This will effect thousands of people. Council tax benefit is claimed by 17,890 people in Torbay, 6,480 in the South Hams, and 10,220 in Teignbridge.

 

Councils currently grant rebates to eligible people on low incomes and bill the Department for Work and Pensions. In the past, the unemployed, disabled, full-time Carers and people on low incomes would not have had to pay their full council tax. This is likely to change. For example, a £1,000 annual bill will mean paying at least £300 if councils decide the maximum rebate is 70%.

Torbay and Teignbridge Councils are now proposing charging everyone at least 25%, while Exeter and the South Hams are suggesting a 30% charge.

 

However, the Local Government Association says that poor communities will bear the brunt of the cuts – and many poor people will not be able to pay.

 

Indeed, Local Authorities have conceded that up to half of people on low incomes will refuse to pay and that there is little they can do about it.

The sums are so small – on average less than £5 a week – that councils are warning it "would in many cases be uneconomic to recover, with the costs of collection, including legal recovery costs, being higher than the bill".

 

The result is that councils are now budgeting for large losses and leaving the door open to widespread non-payment.

Read more from Torquay Herald Express

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  • ggrman  |  October 20 2012, 9:27PM

    With prices going up and up, and thats not including gas price rises just before Christmas, wages staying put or going down, how the heck are people going to find the extra money needed to pay yet another bill when they don't have enough to live on at present. Will it get pad, probably not, especially by those that are struggling to make ends meet at present.

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  • howardd1  |  October 19 2012, 7:26PM

    does that mean any one over 65 because it seems when you reach 60 you get the benefits of a pensioner ,

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  • DoucheBag2010  |  October 19 2012, 3:43PM

    benefits are going up next yer. wages arent.

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  • ziderman  |  October 19 2012, 2:04PM

    SidneyNuff Don't tar everyone with the same brush I'm on a low income & I get council tax benefit I also have to pay something towards the council tax & when these changes kick in do I pay the extra or don't I there's no spare money in my budget to cover the increase

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  • SidneyNuff  |  October 19 2012, 12:15PM

    The Council have no trouble in collecting the debts of non payers now. They have no trouble in taking them to court and charging them for the undertaking. Most of these 'low income' cases are living rent free and council tax free, when I say free I mean 'free for them', WE of course are the ones who pay for them. And what do we get in return, a culture of criminal, drug taking, alcoholic violent behaviour. It's about time these wasters were taught a little responsibility. They have no trouble in finding the money for drugs, alcohol and mobile phones. They need turning upside down and shaking, you'll be suprised what falls out of their pockets.

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