Residents are being asked for their views on proposed changes to Fenland District Council’s Council Tax Support (CTS) scheme that are due to come into force from April 2014.
If implemented, the proposals would mean a 20 per cent cut in the amount of CTS that people of working age currently receive.
Pensioners would not be affected by the changes because they are protected from them by Government rules. They will continue to qualify for CTS that covers up to their whole Council Tax Bill where their income, savings and household make-up allow this.
This year the council was able to limit the cut in CTS to 8.5 per cent as a result of a one-year grant provided by the Government. That grant will no longer be available next year.
The proposed changes would affect about 4,500 of the 43,000 households in Fenland. Those people have already been informed of the proposals in letters sent out last week.
Council Leader Alan Melton said: “We have thought long and hard about this. Obviously, we want to provide as much support as we can for those in most need but all our budgets remain very tight and we have to cut our cloth accordingly.
“With this year’s government grant no longer available and given the need to protect pensioners we believe this is the only option open to us but we want to hear people’s views before reaching a final decision.”
The consultation is open until October 31. All the feedback will be taken into account when the proposals go before the council’s Overview and Scrutiny Committee in November. They will then have to be ratified by the Cabinet and full council in December.
* What do you think of these proposals? For more details and to have your say, go to www.fenland.gov.uk/CTS2014. You can also pick up details at our Fenland @ your service shops in Chatteris (the Chatteris Community Hub), March, Whittlesey and Wisbech.