A consultation is underway to make changes to a scheme which could improve the overall level of financial support to low income and vulnerable working age people in Wealden.

Wealden District Council wants to implement changes to the existing Council Tax Reduction Scheme for working age people from 1st April 2023.

The scheme gives Council Tax bill payers a reduction on the amount they pay and the level of discount is based on the income of the household.

The maximum discount for working age households is currently 80 per cent but could be increased to 100 per cent which would cut bills even further.

In the Wealden District Council area, almost 6,689 people currently receive a Council Tax reduction. Some 3,504 are working age and are therefore potentially affected by the proposed changes.

The remaining who receive a Council Tax reduction are pensioners and they will see no changes as they are part of a national scheme.

The council says changes to the working age scheme will assist low income households, provide further assistance to certain Universal Credit applicants, and provide flexibility in the scheme to allow for changes in government welfare benefits and initiatives.

All councils are required to review their schemes each year and decide if they want to make any changes. Before any changes can be implemented, they must be subject to public consultation which is why Wealden is consulting – from now until 27th November – on whether to the keep the scheme the same as it is now or make changes that will benefit some residents.

Councillor Neil Waller, Wealden’s lead member for Benefits, said, “We are proposing a number of changes to our Council Tax Reduction Scheme that could improve the overall level of support to low income and vulnerable working age applicants.

“This is important, especially at a time when many residents are struggling with cost of living pressures.

“The council has a duty to consult its residents on these changes and provide them with the opportunity to tell us their views on them.”

To take part in the survey visit https://www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/WEALDENCTRLIVE/ or contact our Benefits team at benefits@wealden.gov.uk or 01323 443500 to request a paper copy.