Kettering Council charges highest council tax rate for those in need in England

Kettering Council charges the highest minimum council tax payment rate in the country for the disabled and vulnerable, figures reveal

Kettering Council charges the highest minimum council tax payment rate in the country for the disabled and vulnerable, figures reveal

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Kettering Council charges the highest minimum council tax payment rate in the country for the disabled and vulnerable, figures reveal.

In December last year the council decided to raise the minimum portion from 25 per cent to 45 per cent as the lower figure was insufficient to balance the budget.

And now figures released this month have revealed that Kettering’s is the highest rate of all 326 local authorities in England.

From April 2013, local authorities across England were given the power to devise their own systems of Council Tax Support (CTS) for working-age adults.

It replaced the national system of the Council Tax Benefit (CTB) which ensured the poorest households did not have to pay council tax.

Cllr Mick Scrimshaw (Lab, William Knibb), branded the rate “disgusting”.

He said: “The figures are now in from all 326 councils and what we predicted has come true.

“The 45 per cent figure charged by Kettering is by far the highest charged by anyone anywhere.

“I think the decision the Conservatives at Kettering Council took is disgusting.

“Once again they have shown a sad lack of understanding how people at the bottom of the pile are affected by their polices.

“While this only affects a relatively small number of people, as councillors we have a duty to try and represent everybody and it is decisions like this that will make people question whether the Tories are only interested in looking after the relatively well-off.”

Corby Council’s minimum payment is 8.5 per cent, while East Northants Council and Wellingborough Council both charge a minimum of 20 per cent.

Cllr Scrimshaw added that Kettering Council was way out on its own.

He said: “At the time the Labour opposition highlighted that the council already charged much more than most other councils and warned that the plans, which led to some people’s council tax almost doubling, would probably make them the highest charging authority across the whole country.

“Most councils do charge something, although there are still 66 that charge nothing, but 80 per cent of all councils charge 20 per cent or less.

“Only two charge more than 30 per cent, one of them 35 per cent, and Kettering way out on its own charging a huge 45 per cent.”

A spokesman for Kettering Council declined to comment.