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Council Tax help as bills arrive

Created on 25/03/2020 @ 14:18
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By Elgan Hearn, Local Democracy Reporter

People who are unable to pay rent or Council Tax during the Coronavirus crisis will be looked at on a case by case basis, Powys County Council (PCC) has said.

This week, Council Tax bills were delivered at a time when many people are not working due to the coronavirus lock-down.

Cllr Mathew Dorrance asked under the questions at any time protocol: “Will the council, during this COVID-19 pandemic, suspend actions and proceedings for possession orders in relation to tenants and provide greater support to residents who struggle to pay rent and Council Tax?”

Portfolio holder for Finance, Cllr Aled Davies, answered: “Alongside the new additional help that is being made available by Government, PCC already has a broad set of benefit and award support mechanisms available including housing benefit and council tax reduction schemes.

“We also administer discretionary schemes such as housing payments which helps to support people to keep their rented home.

“On Council Tax, we have the ability to assess someone’s financial hardship and remove or reduce their Council Tax liability and where applicable the ability to change or amend payment arrangements.

“Finally we have a set of officers who offer specialised support to people around debt, budgeting, benefits and fuel.

“Each case is considered for support and looked at on its own individual merits and at this time our teams are ready to support people through this difficult time.”

At the end of February, PCC voted through a 4.8% increase in the Council Tax.

On Tuesday neighbouring Shropshire Council said they would allow residents whose income has been affected by Coronavirus to delay payments of Council Tax until June 1.

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