Community News

Proposal for Council Tax reduction to be extended for another year

People worried about paying their bill should check if eligible for support

Image Bristol City Council

A proposal will be going before Bristol City Council’s Cabinet next week for the Council Tax Reduction Scheme to be extended for another year.

The scheme – which has been running since 2013 – provides vital financial support to Bristol residents unable to pay their council tax.

Bristol City Council is one of a small number of local authorities that continues to provide a fully funded Council Tax Reduction Scheme for people who are struggling financially.

The scheme is currently supporting nearly 36,000 low-income households.

Mayor of Bristol, Marvin Rees, said: “The financial pressure on low-income families is constant and, in many ways worsening for some. The soaring costs of energy, stagnation in the growth of wages, the end of the Universal Credit top up and the rise in the cost of living have all added to this pressure recently.

“Continuing the Council Tax Reduction Scheme for another year would alleviate some of this pressure as we head into the winter months.

“I’d urge anyone who is in financial difficulty and is worried about paying their council tax bill to see if they are eligible for support. Please get in touch with us if you are struggling financially or if you are unsure whether you are eligible. We will do all we can to support you.”

Deputy Mayor and Cabinet member for Finance, Governance and Performance, Councillor Craig Cheney, added: “The Council Tax Reduction Scheme provides vital support to our most vulnerable households and can help those who are on a low-income to pay their council tax bill.

“Most households will not need to access the scheme and have continued to pay their council tax bills throughout the pandemic. It’s important that this continues and those who can pay, do pay, to ensure vital frontline services are funded.”

Collection of council tax arrears will be restarting

At the start of the pandemic, the council announced a pause to the collection of all council tax arrears – and this process will now be restarting.

Residents with council tax arrears will be contacted via letter soon to advise them of the debt they owe and their options for paying.

People concerned about making repayments are encouraged to contact the council for support and advice by phoning 0117 922 2900.

Anyone who believes they are eligible for a reduction in their council tax should contact Bristol City Council Benefits Service.