Council Objects To Proposed Council Tax Reforms

The Council has written to the Government to object to plans to reform council tax payments.

Under proposals, English residents will need to claim council tax discounts and exemptions as a benefit.

The Government wants to cut the amount given to Councils to underwrite those reduced payments by 10%. Whitehall doesn’t want pensioners and vulnerable groups to be worse off, so our Town Hall would have to decide who doesn’t get the council tax reduction they currently enjoy.

Our Director of Finance, Peter Lawrence, has written to say our Council doesn’t have the resources to meet the funding gap, especially as we’ve only 1200 council taxpayers and many are elderly.

Peter Lawrence’s letter claims that falling visitor numbers are creating real economic hardship for many people.

And Peter says Councillors may face animosity and conflict if they are responsible for reducing a benefit entitle and that, in turn, could make people less likely to stand for Council.

He’s also worried about the cost of administering the scheme.

The Government wants to bring in the new system to incentivise people to work but with more job vacancies than there are workers here, the Council doesn’t think they’ll achieve their objective in Scilly.

The Town Hall’s response to the consultation says officers and members would like to meet with Ministers to find out how they intend to help vulnerable families in rural areas.

And Peter has warned Whitehall there’s the Isles of Scilly Clause, which often helps Scilly get around legislation because of our unique status, and he’s not afraid to use it.