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Council tax support for borough's most disadvantaged may be reduced

The most disadvantaged residents in the borough may face paying more council tax from April.

The Royal Borough is consulting on plans to change its council tax assistance scheme from a maximum 91.5 per cent subsidy to 80 per cent.

If the changes go through, it will mean low-income and vulnerable working-age residents will receive less subsidy from the Royal Borough for their council tax.

Speaking to the Advertiser on Monday, council leader Cllr Andrew Johnson said: “We would effectively reduce the amount of subsidy that we give to those claiming that particular benefit.

“All we ask them to do is put in a little bit more in their contribution to council tax.

“We have one of the most generous schemes in operation, particularly when you compare it to our neighbouring councils, what we want to do is bring that level up to other boroughs.”

Bracknell Forest Council provides a discount of up to 80 per cent on council tax to disadvantaged and vulnerable people.

With the Royal Borough projected to have an overspend of £3.7million this financial year, the council has announced a variety of cost-cutting measures in its draft budget for 2020/21.

The online consultation on the potential changes to council tax support states: “If support levels were to be increased, or remain the same, for 2020/21, there would be a financial cost to the council which would have to be met elsewhere and could mean raising council tax, reducing council services and using compensatory savings to fund council tax support, using some of the council’s one-off reserves, or a combination of the three.”

The consultation will be open until Friday, February 7.

Visit to complete the survey.


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