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Councils facing shortfall to fund tax benefits

By Staf Newsletter  |  Posted: September 24, 2012

By Sarah Marshall

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RESIDENTS are being urged to have their say on plans to scrap council tax benefit next year.

Stafford Borough, South Staffordshire and Cannock Chase councils are asking for views on replacement schemes.

Councils currently deliver council tax benefit on the Government’s behalf but as of March 31 it will be replaced with a scheme in each council area.

While the Government currently pays for council tax benefit, from next April it will only give councils 90 per cent of the estimated cost, leaving a funding gap of £621,000 in Stafford, £650,000 in South Staffordshire and £775,000 in Cannock Chase.

Government rules state that there will be no changes for pensioners.

But it does mean councils may have to cut payments to working age claimants, with some likely to see a significant fall in financial support.

Detailed information and consultation questionnaires are available online at www. s t a f f o r d b c . g o v. u k / l c t s , www.sstaffs.gov.uk/counciltaxsupport and www.cannockchasedc.gov.uk.

A series of open days are also being organised for residents in South Staffordshire and Cannock Chase.

South Staffordshire will host one at the Haling Dene Centre in Penkridge tonight at 7pm and at its council offices in Codsall on September 26.

Two events are also being held at the Council’s Civic Centre in Cannock on November 7, 2pm-4pm and on November 13, 10am and 12pm.

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