RESIDENTS are being urged to contact Bromsgrove District Council for council tax help if their finances have been impacted on by Coronavirus.
People can delay payments for the next two months instead of having the council tax free months which would usually have been in February and March, 2021.
There is also additional help for those on Universal Credit, already on Council Tax Support or Housing Benefit – they can receive an extra £150 off their bill as part of a scheme being run by the Government.
Some Government funding packages have also seen the local housing allowance increase so housing benefit covers 30 per cent of market rent, and working tax credits increase to £3,040.
Jayne Pickering, the authority’s director of finance and resources, said: “We appreciate this is a very difficult time for many of our residents and if you are struggling to pay your Council Tax there is support available.
“If you wish to change or defer your payment instalments please contact us.
“We will answer your call as quickly as possible, but please be aware we are experiencing a high volume of calls at the moment.”
For more information visit the Coronavirus council tax section on the authority’s website here.
The council will not be sending out reminders for council tax payments in April – those who have not been able to pay will be written to, via the post or email, to advise on the support available.
The move has been welcomed by Labour leader Coun Peter McDonald who had contacted the council about people struggling to pay.
“This should reduce the dependence on foodbanks which more people than ever are being forced to turn to.
“Welfare problems that have led to the steepest increase in emergency food parcel handouts in five years, according to the anti-poverty campaign the Trussell Trust.
“While the Government boast about the British economy being the fifth largest in the world more than one in five are trapped in poverty.”