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Extra financial support for vulnerable households

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SOME Wiltshire residents of working age will pay less council tax due to a Government-funded scheme to support people from the impact of COVID-19.

This latest support package from the Government, which is being managed locally by Wiltshire Council, is aimed at working age families who already qualify for council tax reduction but still have to pay some council tax.

Government has provided new funding to Local authorities in England of £500 million to support economically vulnerable people and households in their local area, of which Wiltshire will be receiving just over £3m.

There are currently more than 16,000 working age households in receipt of a council tax reduction in Wiltshire, and around 11,000 of those will qualify for additional financial support under this scheme.

The scheme ensures that anyone who qualifies for council tax reduction will receive a further reduction of £150 in addition to their current council tax benefit. The scheme will not put accounts in credit, so those already in receipt of a 100% reduction will not be affected.

It also applies to those who are successful in claiming council tax reduction for the first time who may need some short-term support, before they return to work.

Cllr Philip Whitehead, Leader of Wiltshire Council, said: “COVID-19 has left some people struggling financially and this extra money will provide support and hopefully ease the pressure for those who are already in a particularly vulnerable situation.

“We know this is such a difficult time, and we’re doing all we can help people get through it and ensuring this money gets to those who need it most.”

Qualifying households will shortly receive a new council tax bill for 2020/21 by Wiltshire Council confirming they have been awarded a further reduction.

If anyone has any questions they should call 0300 456 0109 or email counciltax@wiltshire.gov.uk.

The council previously gave all households in Wiltshire the chance to defer paying council tax for up to two months should they have requested it. Around 5,800 households took the council up on the offer.

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