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New Council tax scheme for south Devon

A new council tax reduction scheme is to be introduced in South Hams next year following an eight-week consultation with residents. As part of the Government’s welfare reforms, councils must design their own council tax reduction scheme for working-age people who are not working or on a low income.
Reduced funding means that in order to avoid any impact on other council tax payers or services, all claimants will have to make some contribution.
Some residents will be paying something towards their council tax for the first time. South Hams councillors agreed at a meeting of the full council on Thursday, December 19 to go ahead with a scheme from April 2014 which will affect all working age residents who need help with their council tax. The council has agreed to fund up to 80 percent of the cost of council tax for more than 2,700 households on the lowest incomes. Working age claimants will have to pay a minimum of 20 percent – around £280 for the average household. A hardship fund for those experiencing severe financial difficulties will be available. The
council also decided not to lower the savings threshold so residents with up to £16,000 in savings can still get help from the scheme. Pensioners have been protected so are unaffected by these changes.

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