Council defends new tax bill on disabled and low earners

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Arun District Council has advised anyone who finds it difficult to pay the new £192.93 council tax fee to ask it for help.

Anyone who is faced with severe financial hardship is asked to contact the council or visit www.arun.gov.uk/council-tax-reduction.

Responding to criticism over the new charge, which affects disabled people and low-earners, an Arun spokesperson said: “The financial challenges being faced by local councils have been widely publicised. Like all local authorities up and down the country, we are faced with protecting our most vulnerable residents from the effects of Government cuts, while still needing to generate savings. Any decrease in our general grant funding means that there is less money to pay for all the services we provide, including Council Tax Reduction.”

The spokesperson said that the minimum payment of £3.70 a week was lower than other authorities, that it carried out a ‘full public consultation between July 25 and October 16, 2016, and sent letters to those affected ‘some weeks before the bills were sent’.