Thursday, April 18, 2024

Thurrock taxpayer benefits from £300,000 in Council tax discounts review

Thurrock Council Offices

THURROCK Council began a review on the single person discount available for Council Tax in late 2016 and after a year of the campaign, the Council has found 921 incorrect Single Person Discount (SPD) claims – which is around £300,000 income lost which would have otherwise been spent on public services in the borough.

The SPD provides a 25% discount on council tax for those living along which works out at around £300 per year. Around 18,000 people currently claim the discount locally.

Cllr Shane Hebb, Portfolio Holder for Finance and IT said: “Last year, we warned residents of the upcoming review and gave them an opportunity to come forward and inform us of any changed circumstances – most people update us promptly, but we wanted to give those who had mistakenly neglected to update us, time to do so, so we could work on those that wouldn’t tell us.

“This review has given us the chance to revoke any incorrect claims by sharing information across organisations and in turn saved the taxpayer a significant amount of money which can be used for other services throughout the borough to the benefit of us all.

“For example: the money saved has paid for nearly a third of this years “Clean It, Cut It, Fill It” programme!”

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  1. Cllr Hebb states that “Last year, we warned residents of the upcoming review and gave them an opportunity to come forward and inform us of any changed circumstances”. Really? Because I started getting the Single Person Discount last May and I wasn’t warned or in any way informed of a review. And, surely, all residents getting the Single Person Discount should have been informed even if they weren’t specific targets?

  2. It was announced in October 2016. They employed a company called Capacitygrid. The question should be how much did this company get paid to carry out this review?

  3. Reading a bit further Capacitygrid appears to have undertaken the work on reviewing 18,000 Single Person Discount claims on a ‘…no win no fee basis…’ according to Shane Hebb’s report to Full Council on the 28th September 2016. So how much did they get paid for their 921 ‘wins’? Surprisingly this report acurately predicts a saving of £300,000!

  4. The £300,000 will no doubt be triumphed as a ‘saving’ but this would be disingenuous as you would need to deduct the payment made to Capacitygrid to get the real saving.


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