Eastbourne Foodbank calls for council tax reduction
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Wealden District Council introduced greater discounts on council tax for those on low incomes at its full council meeting on February 22. Wealden joins Lewes District Council in providing this help to ease the pressure for residents on low incomes. Eastbourne Foodbank has welcomed this but wants Eastbourne Borough Council to do the same.
Jess Holliday, campaigns and communications manager at Eastbourne Foodbank, said: “We know council tax causes a lot of issues for our clients. With rising food and energy prices, so many are struggling to pay their essential bills at the moment.”
In response, EBC says it will hold a public consultation over a 100 per cent council tax reduction scheme. A date for the consultation has not been announced yet.
A council spokesperson said: “We continue to promote support available locally and nationally to our residents and provide help and advice on a daily basis to anyone worried about their circumstances.”
At the last full EBC meeting (February 22) Councillor Alan Shuttleworth said: “I want to just touch upon an area which I want us to focus on which is about moving into an analysis of going to 100 per cent council tax rebate scheme because I think going in to the new year that is one of many areas we need to put more focus on and I hope by doing that we can help more people. With the 80 per cent relief at the moment, we already help something like 4,000 working aged residents in the town.”
Jess said: “We were pleased to hear Cllr Shuttleworth advocating a move towards the analysis of a 100 per cent council tax reduction scheme in Eastbourne for the 2024/2025 financial year. At Eastbourne Foodbank we strongly support such a scheme and we have shared this view with Eastbourne Borough Council. However, people are struggling to afford essentials right now and we were disappointed to hear our local authority was unable to commit to such a proposal for this current financial year.
“We are grateful for the opportunity to work with Eastbourne Borough Council and remain hopeful that a 100 per cent council tax reduction scheme will be implemented in 2024/2025 to ease the pressures faced by people living in poverty.”