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Dacorum Borough Council to cut council tax benefits by £1m
2:54pm Friday 31st August 2012 in News
Council tax benefits for Dacorum residents is to be cut by around £1 million from April 2013.
The 10 per cent reduction comes as part of the abolition of the government’s current council tax benefit system, which will be replaced by a local council tax support scheme administered by Dacorum Borough Council.
The provision of council tax benefits in the borough was called into question recently when Kings Langley multi-millionaire lottery winner Eddie Putman was convicted of fraudulently receiving £13,000 from the council and the Department for Work and Pensions.
Putman, 47, of Station Road was jailed for nine months in July at St Albans Crown Court .
This week, the borough council released draft proposals for how they intend to manage the cuts and asked residents to comment on them.
These proposals include a cap of 75 per cent support on the amount of council tax support most working age people can receive.
Another suggestion is that residents living in expensive properties of band E or above will have support calculated as if they lived in band D properties.
A council spokesman said the most vulnerable in the county including people with disabilities and families with children aged under five will not be affected by the changes.
Councillor Nick Tiley, portfolio holder for finance and resources, explains: "The government's welfare reform legislation has set this council, and all local authorities in England the task of saving 10% of current financial support for Council Tax, when the existing council tax benefit scheme is replaced by a new local council tax support scheme in April next year.
"In Dacorum this means that about £1m will be removed from the benefits system, which will have to be found locally at a time when everyone’s budgets are already very tight.
"Our proposed scheme for council tax support in Dacorum aims to meet this financial shortfall while protecting the most vulnerable people with the greatest need of financial support including all eligible pensioners, young families and people with disabilities, with as little as possible impact on borough residents. We are keen to hear everyone's views on our approach and I urge you to take a moment to consider and comment on our draft proposals."
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