Local Council Tax Support – seeking views for a post-COVID scheme

RESIDENTS and interested parties will be asked for their input into a review of the Local Council Tax Support (LCTS) scheme as part of a consultation which was commissioned last year.

In 2019, members agreed to a review of the scheme once more information was known about the take-up of LCTS following the introduction of Universal Credit. The COVID pandemic has shown that there is a growing need to ensure that the Thurrock’s LCTS has sufficient capacity for residents who find themselves unemployed and without savings.

The scheme gives working and non-working borough residents who fit the benefit criteria the opportunity to reduce their Council Tax bill by up to 75 per cent.

Cllr Shane Hebb, Cabinet Member for Finance, said: “Now, more than ever, we need to ensure that the Local Council Tax Support scheme is here to help those who need it most.

“It was always our intention to review the LCTS and with the economic pressures of COVID starting to show in the jobs market, we need to ensure that the scheme is targeted first at those who most need assistance, whilst preserving this benefit for groups who served in the Armed Forces or are war widows and so forth.

“This is why it is critical that residents come forward and give their views so we can shape a scheme which accounts for the most vulnerable first and tries to help others out if and where we can. I urge residents to take part in the consultation, whether they are eligible for LCTS or not.

“A special summit will take place in November to help ensure that industry leaders and interested parties, including councillors from across the political spectrum, contribute to the review and the final design of the post-COVID benefit scheme.”

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