Have your say on new Council Tax Support scheme in East Northamptonshire

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East Northamptonshire Council is asking residents for their views on proposed changes to next year’s Council Tax Support (CTS) scheme.

People on low incomes can claim CTS to help them pay their council tax bills.

But changes to the scheme could affect everyone in the district so the council is carrying out a public consultation for residents to have their say.

The consultation runs for four weeks from October 26 to November 23.

The maximum amount of support currently available to working age households in East Northamptonshire is 87.5 per cent, which means that every working age household has to pay at least 12.5 per cent of their council tax bill.

Leader of East Northamptonshire Council, Steven North said: “It has been possible, up until now, to finance our CTS scheme as part of our yearly budgets.

“But with government funding reducing each year and the recent announcements regarding changes to tax credits as well as the introduction of universal credit in our area, the amount of CTS we grant may increase if we continue with our current scheme.

“If less council tax is collected there will be less money to pay for local services, such as schools, policing, refuse collections and much more.

“However, proposed changes to the scheme could have implications for vulnerable members of our community so it’s important that people take this opportunity to help shape the most effective and fairest system for all residents of East Northamptonshire.”

None of the proposed changes will affect pensioners, who will still be entitled to claim up to 100 per cent support on their council tax bill (pension age households receive help under a national scheme).

In East Northamptonshire, council tax money is split four ways with 72 per cent going to Northamptonshire County Council, 14 per cent going to the police, six per cent going to the town and parish councils and eight per cent going to ENC.

Once the consultation has closed, a final decision on the scheme will be made by council early next year.

Find out more and have your say online at www.surveymonkey.com/r/ctax2016

To complete the survey by telephone call the ENC customer contact centre on 01832 742330.

Paper copies of the survey are available from the council offices in Thrapston (8.45am to 5pm), Rushden (9am to 4.30pm) and Oundle (10am to 1pm) or Irthlingborough Library (Wednesday 1.30 to 4.30pm).