Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Council tax windfall for some pensioners on the cards

Thousands of Swansea pensioners are set for a Council Tax windfall under plans being drawn up by the city's council.

Eligible pensioners could benefit by around £52 per household under a scheme that's being paid for by the Welsh Assembly Government.

WAG have provided a £2m pot for local authorities across Wales to help pensioners pay their Council tax bills in the coming year and the amount coming to Swansea is just over £160,000.

If the offer is agreed by Cabinet Members when they meet on Thursday it means that around 3,100 pensioner households who qualify for partial Council Tax benefit would be informed by post by the Council of the reduction.

Stuart Rice, Cabinet Member for Finance, said: "This would be an offer of an additional benefit for some of the most vulnerable people in our communities.

"There are many pensioners in the city who already qualify for full Council Tax benefit and they will not be affected if Cabinet accepts the offer. It will only apply to pensioners who currently qualify for partial Council tax benefit."

If Cabinet agrees to move forward with the plan, the Council would then identify the eligible pensioners and write to them to inform them of the reduction.

But Cllr Rice added that local families should not forget that Swansea's Benefits Take Up Team are on hand to help anyone who may be eligible to claim other forms of help with paying Council Tax.

Individual circumstances are taken into account to assess whether people qualify and an entitlement calculation can be done in minutes over the telephone.

Anyone wanting information or help should contact the take-up team on 01792 635885.


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