Have your say on council tax

RESIDENTS are to help decide who should face a hike in council tax following a cut in Government funding to discounts and benefit.

Babergh and Mid Suffolk district councils are conducting surveys before deciding where the costs of the new system should fall.

It follows the transfer of responsibility for council tax support from the Government to local authorities, coupled with a 10 per cent cut in benefit funding from next April.

As part of the consultation process, which closes on October 26, people are asked to rank the following four options in order of preference:

l Reducing the discount to those who are not working but who are of working age and available to work

l Removing the discount available to owners of second homes

l Removing the discount available to owners of empty homes

l End the second adult rebate, which currently sees claimants whose income is too high to receive council tax benefit – but have other adults living with them whose income is low – receiving a discount of up to 25 per cent.

Jennie Jenkins, Babergh’s strategy chairman, said: “This could make a real impact on many of the individuals and families who live in Babergh.

“By taking five minutes to give your views, it can really help us to make an informed decision on the way council tax benefit will change in the future.”

Once the consultation has finished, the results will be reviewed and changes implemented in April, 2013.

q To have your say, visit www.babergh.gov.uk.