Wakefield Council says have your say on council tax

Local elections. May 2008.'Graham Stokes. Labour. Knottingley.'w3843c819
Local elections. May 2008.'Graham Stokes. Labour. Knottingley.'w3843c819
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PEOPLE have been invited to have their say on a new council tax benefit scheme.

Wakefield Council has drafted a new policy that would require all working-age claimants to pay some council tax.

And a two-month public consultation which opened this week.

The new scheme will replace the government’s national council tax benefit scheme, which will be scrapped from April next year.

Coun Graham Stokes, cabinet member with responsibility for council tax, said: “It is vitally important that we hear your views.

“We are committed to protecting those most in need in our communities and will do all we can to make sure Wakefield’s local scheme is fair and recognises individual circumstances. But we need your help to do this.”

Last month Coun Stokes said the proposed new scheme would leave 19,000 benefits claimants worse off.

But he said with government funding slashed it was the fairest possible scheme.

Under the proposed scheme, everybody would pay something, everybody in a household would contribute and people would be encouraged to work.

The amount of benefit paid would depend on individual circumstances and benefits would not be paid to people with relatively large capital or savings.

The scheme would also have to be simplified and would not add to the council budget gap, which currently stands at £95m over a six-year period.

When the consultation opens on Monday, more information and an online questionnaire will be available on www.wakefield.gov.uk

People can comment at Normanton Library on Saturday, September 8, from 11.30am to 2.30pm, and on Tuesday, September 11, from noon to 2pm.

They can also comment at Wakefield Town Hall on Thursday, September 13, from 5pm to 8pm, and Friday, September 21, from 11am to 2pm, and at Ossett Library on Friday, September 14, from 9am until noon.