Area Assembly to discuss Council Tax Benefit cut

On Tuesday (30th October), the Wentworth Valley Area Assembly – which includes the Wickersley, Hellaby and Maltby wards – will be looking at the government’s changes to welfare benefits. We will also be going through Rotherham Council’s consultation on changes to Council Tax Benefit.

From next April, the government will be cutting £4.1 million of the funding it gives to Rotherham to pay for Council Tax Benefit. That’s about 10% of the money that was available to support people on low or no incomes with their Council Tax this year. The government has changed the rules to allow councils more control over council tax exemptions and Council Tax Benefit, and has said that pensioners must not lose out on Council Tax Benefit.

The result is that councils across the country are facing a 20% cut in the level of support provided by the government for those residents of working age who currently receive Council Tax Benefit. That’s about 16,000 people in Rotherham.

Whilst the final details are still to be confirmed, worringly the change – which may result in council tax increases for some of the lowest paid residents – will also come in at the same time as other benefit reforms, including reductions in Housing Benefit and the introduction of the Universal Credit.

The Labour Party has said that it believes the changes will be a “disaster”, whilst our local MP, John Healey, has warned of a “return to the poll tax”.

If you’re worried about the changes, want to find out more – or indeed if you’d just like to express your view – you can join us at Wickersley Library from 6pm on Tuesday.

If you’re not able to make it, or you live somewhere else in Rotherham, you can also add your views to the Council’s consultation on how to deal with the changes by clicking here.

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