Aim is to reduce cost of support

Council: Kirklees Council centre Dewsbury Town Hall
Council: Kirklees Council centre Dewsbury Town Hall

Kirklees Council is carrying out a consultation into their council tax reduction scheme.

The scheme, which allows people who reach specific criteria to pay less council tax, costs the council £28.8m a year.

Now the council is looking at ways to reduce this cost by £1m, but say they want any change to be as fair as possible and to do this they need to know what people think they should do.

The scheme supports people who are on low incomes and the council acknowledges that this is a hard cut to make. The changes could affect a range of working age people, but low income pensioners are protected and are not affected by the changes.

Coun Graham Turner, Cabinet member for resources said: “We know for many people the council tax reduction scheme provides much needed relief. However due to continuing austerity we have to take some difficult decisions. We are not looking to remove support from protected groups; and by carrying out this consultation, we are demonstrating our commitment to do all we can to look after our most vulnerable residents. We will take into account the views gathered before deciding whether the council tax reduction scheme should alter and how.”

Options the council are considering include simplifying the scheme to reduce administration and benefit costs; reducing the maximum amount of savings residents can hold to still qualify for support; or changing the level of support certain groups of people can receive. The consultation is open from September 21, visit www.kirklees.gov.uk/ctrsurvey