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Councillors call for Council Tax postponement

 
Created on 31/03/2020 @ 10:21
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Collection of the Council Tax in the area should be postponed, two county councillors have said.

Last week, council tax bills were being pushed through letterboxes and the first direct debits will be collected from 11 April.

Shropshire Council has said that it can delay collection until 1 June. Gwynedd Council has said that no Council Tax reminders, summons or liability orders will be made until July.

In a joint statement Plaid Cymru councillors Elwyn Vaughan and Bryn Davies said: “Powys residents have seen their council tax bills land on their doormats, seeing a 4.8 per-cent increase, at the very time many are under immense pressure and when so much uncertainty faces many families.

“We would like to see the annual council tax break brought forward to the beginning of the 2020-21 financial year, for people who pay in ten instalments.

“Offer a deferred payment scheme for those that need it and expand council tax benefit for at least three months to anyone with a underlying health condition that requires them to self-isolate.

“If they are self-employed or or can’t work from home they will lose income as a result.

“In these challenging times it is important that hard working families are given the necessary support.

The pair add that the Welsh Government should look at bringing next year’s funding decision for local authorities forward.

They also want to see the Welsh Government underwrite any council losses due to the coronavirus crisis.

PCCs’s response to the lockdown has been to set up a new phone line to deal with financial issues.

Cllr Aled Davies, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Finance, said: “I know many people are worrying about money at the moment, and our message is clear, we’re here to help.

“This new phone line will provide the kind of support and advice that’s much-needed at this challenging and uncertain time.

“We can advise on how to reduce council tax bills, discuss a range of benefits and grants, as well as help with money management and budgeting.

“The team on the other end of the phone will know what support is out there in and will be able to point you in the right direction.”

You can call the new phone line on 01597 826345 or visit the council’s website for support www.powys.gov.uk/coronavirus

 

Photo: Powys County Council offices in Newtown

By Elgan Hearn, Local Democracy Reporting Service

 

 

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