There always seems to be a lot of doom and gloom surrounding council tax in the news, with benefits being cut, extra charges being applied and a general tightening of much of the country’s belts, but there may be a light at the end of the tunnel for Cornwall residents after the council announced plans to increase help for those who need it most. This means that those households who currently receive council tax support can now apply for up to 100% of their council tax shortfall.
This would be provided by the council’s discretionary exceptional relief and transitional support fund, whereas applicants could previously only apply for up to 50%. Alex Folkes, Cornwall Council Cabinet member for finance and resources, said:
“We recognise that some of the least well off in Cornwall are being faced with a council tax bill for the first time. Whilst we all accept that those who can afford to pay towards their bill should be asked to do so, there are undoubtedly some households who will struggle to make any payments. Rather than force them to choose between paying their council tax and heating or eating, we have increased the amount that can be awarded in help. This help is only available in the short term and will come alongside support from the council and our partners to look at all the options for making positive changes to their personal and financial circumstances.”
At Council Tax Advisors, we understand the falling into council tax arrears can happen to anyone and without warning families can find themselves in a seemingly endless cycle of debt, worry and stress. Not only can this mean financial issues, but also a great impact on households’ quality of life, constantly frightened of the consequences, such as a visit from bailiffs, of falling into arrears. With our help and advice, however, this can be rectified and families can get themselves back on track.
While improved benefits for those poorest households is a great thing that could have a big impact in Cornwall and any other region adopting a similar practice, many people will still find themselves in trouble with bailiffs and council tax debt. This is where the friendly, personal and professional service from CTA comes in, as we speak from a place much like those who comes to us. Offering useful and practical solutions such as mediation with councils to arrange reasonable repayment plans, we are the best people to help.