by mikebell on 12 January, 2018
The changes, which were forced through by Conservative Councillors at a council meeting this evening (9th January 2018) in the face of opposition from Liberal Democrat, Independent, Green and Labour councillors, could see bills rise by £75 a year for the poorest families.
Households will not find out how much council tax they will actually have to pay until the rates are set at a meeting in February. However, with North Somerset Council likely to back a 6% rise in Council Tax for all households, those on lowest incomes will be hit even harder, say the Liberal Democrats.
The party has estimated an increase in overall Band D bills, once police and fire costs are added in, running to 19% or £75 a year, for those in receipt of council tax support.
Speaking at the meeting Councillor Mike Bell, leader of the Liberal Democrats on North Somerset Council said: “I am shocked at the cuts to the Council Tax Support Scheme being forced through. Everyone knows that the council is struggling to balance the books and that council tax rises are needed. However, it is totally wrong to make those on the lowest incomes pay the most.
“Conservative councillors refused to answer questions during the debate, sat in silence as they were challenged on their priorities and then voted en bloc for the increase. They have shown themselves to be arrogant, uncaring and out of touch.”
In their alternative budget proposals, Liberal Democrat councillors have put forward funded proposals to reverse the tax rise for those in receipt of council tax support.
Pensioners will not be affected by the changes to the Council Tax Support scheme as they are protected under separate national rules.