THURROCK people are being asked their thoughts about Thurrock’s Council Tax Support scheme, which replaced Council Tax Benefit in April 2013.
Many of the proposed conditions remain unchanged from last year’s scheme, but the council – like others around the country – is considering whether or not to introduce a local residency requirement, although similar requirements have been challenged in the courts.
The consultation launched on Monday (4 August) and can be completed via the council’s website.
Cllr Victoria Holloway, portfolio holder for central services, said: “The government changed council tax benefits last year, insisting local councils do their own instead of having a standard scheme across the country.
“Thurrock, like other councils, consulted and introduced our own local scheme for the current year – now we’re looking at next year and we believe the introduction of a residency requirement to the scheme will help protect local people.
“Doing away with national council tax benefits and forcing councils to come up with their own individual schemes means it is all the more important people let us know what they think of our proposals before we introduce them for the 2015 tax bills.”
The law states that people of pensionable age have their own national scheme for local council tax support, and it is only people of working age who are affected by the local schemes.
In Thurrock the present scheme is similar to how council tax benefit used to be calculated, but there are differences.
The closing date for the online consultation is in eight weeks’ time, 28 September and the consultation is available at thurrock.gov.uk/counciltax