Decision on Kettering's council tax support rate to be discussed tonight

Proposals to cut council tax support in Kettering look set to be thrown out after hundreds of people voiced their concerns.
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Kettering Council currently charges the highest council tax rate in the country for those in need – 45 per cent.

The authority had asked for the public’s thoughts on increasing the rate to anywhere up to 68 per cent – which could have seen weekly payments increase by almost half.

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But 444 out of 593 people who responded to the council called for the current rate to be frozen for the year 2017/18 as a one-year pilot.

Now the council’s executive committee will be asked to provide a recommendation on next year’s rate at a meeting tonight (Wednesday).

A report prepared for councillors reads: “To summarise, the members of this committee will need to make a decision on their preferred option to recommend to full council, taking into account the findings from the public consultation.

“The majority of those who responded indicated a preference for Option 4 – which is to freeze the taper at 45 per cent.”

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Many of those who voiced their concerns over the proposed increase said there should have been an option to reduce the minimum payment rate.

One said: “It is ridiculous the amount we have to pay already, you cannot justify a rise in payment from the most vulnerable and disadvantaged customers/tenants in your borough – it is a disgrace, you should be eternally embarrassed.”

Another said: “None of the above options, already highest charges in the country – a complete rip-off.”

Another said: “There should be an Option 5 to reduce the percentage to be more in line with national averages.”

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The council came under heavy criticism earlier this year from opposition leader Cllr Mick Scrimshaw, who branded the rate ”disgusting”.

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.

The meeting starts at 6.30pm tonight in the council chamber in Bowling Green Road.

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