New consultation on benefit changes

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A fresh consultation on proposed changes to Council Tax Benefit (CTB) has been launched by Fenland District Council.

It follows feedback to the initial consultation held over the past few months and the announcement of extra funding from the Government.

The revised proposals would mean a smaller cut in the level of CTB than was originally envisaged.

The changes are needed because the way that CTB is funded is changing from next April.

As part of its budget deficit reduction measures, the Government is cutting the amount of money it gives councils to fund CTB by 10 per cent. It has also said that pensioners must not be affected. In Fenland’s case it means that the budget shortfall is more than 10 per cent.

Initially, Fenland District Council was proposing to reduce the amount of CTB it paid out by 20 per cent, meaning an average cut of £3.32 per week for 4,500 claimants.

Now, taking into account the public feedback and the extra government funding, the council’s revised proposal is for an 8.5 per cent reduction, equivalent to an average cut of £1.52 per week for about 3,600 claimants and 72p a week for another 900.

FDC is inviting comments on its revised proposals. It is also writing again to all the people potentially affected by the proposed changes, as it did when it announced its original proposals.

The new consultation, launched last week, runs until Saturday, December 1.

For more information and to complete a survey online, go to www.fenland.gov.uk/localcounciltaxbenefit . Paper copies of the survey can be obtained at any of the four Fenland @ your service shops or by calling FDC on 01354 654321.