Consultation to be launched on new scheme that could cut council tax bills to zero for some Eastbourne residents
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Eastbourne Borough Council (EBC) is launching the consultation, which was approved by cabinet councillors on Tuesday, June 13, to give extra financial support to the town’s most vulnerable people through the cost of living crisis.
The scheme could also remove the minimum income floor for the self-employed and there could be no minimum award value, according to the council.
EBC said: “This would replace the current Local Council Tax Reduction (LCTR) scheme which awards a council tax reduction up to a maximum of 80 per cent of a person’s council tax liability.”
Cabinet member for finances and resources Robin Maxted added: “This consultation is another measure we are taking to help Eastbourne's most vulnerable residents through very difficult times and if agreed, those who are worst-off will no longer have to pay any council tax.
“Since being the first local authority in the UK to announce a cost of living emergency, we have prioritised support for local people who are experiencing extreme challenges. This has included a £20,000 payment to Eastbourne Food Bank to ensure availability of food for those in immediate need and more than £130,000 for local initiatives to help struggling families and individuals.”
EBC will now consult on the proposal with the other major preceptors of council tax in the town – East Sussex County Council, Sussex Police and East Sussex Fire and Rescue – until July 7.
A detailed draft scheme will then be produced and consulted on before it returns to council for a decision later this year.
Councillor Maxted added: “We are committed to helping residents who are suffering severe hardship amid the soaring food costs and bill increases that are putting a huge strain on household budgets.”