Milton Keynes Council has announced it will provide a council tax discount to many residents who are currently ineligible for the Government’s Council Tax Rebate scheme.
The Labour and Liberal Democrat administration have decided to distribute £500,000 worth of additional support to further help residents. The Government’s scheme only provides support for energy costs for households in Council Tax bands A to D, which means some residents may miss out on support despite having low or fixed incomes.
MK Council plans to deliver a discretionary rebate to help people who are ineligible for the Government’s original scheme. This will help residents who receive a reduction or exemption on their Council Tax, including people with disabilities, carers, and those on low incomes.
Councillor Rob Middleton, Cabinet Member for Resources, said: “I’m proud that Milton Keynes Council is providing support that is needed during the cost of living crisis, so that we can help residents who are struggling to pay their bills. The national scheme has many flaws, one of which is that there are many people who live in higher council tax band properties but who are on low or fixed incomes. The additional support is a start, but we need the Conservative government to step up and do more.”
The Labour/Liberal Democrat Progressive Alliance has already put aside over £18 million pounds in their budget to help struggling residents as bills skyrocket, including:
• Over £15 million to help residents on low incomes pay their Council Tax bill
• Over £3 million for concessionary public transport fares
• Half a million pounds to help people struggling with the energy crisis
• £150,000 to maintain a Local Welfare Provision Scheme, which can help residents in need by providing items such as beds, cookers, and fridge freezers
Councillor Jane Carr, Cabinet Member for Tackling Inequality and Child Poverty, added: “Not only are we facing skyrocketing energy bills, but we’re seeing the highest inflation in 30-years, a National Insurance tax hike and the weekly shop is going up by hundreds of pounds every year. So many families are having to choose between heating and eating; the government has let the people of Milton Keynes down.”