Council Tax Benefits To Be Maintained Following Grant Award

The Council will be able to maintain Council Tax Benefits at the current levels in 2013/14 following a grant from central Government.

Director of Finance, Peter Lawrence-Roberts, confirmed that the Isles of Scilly had received a grant of £84,000 to set up a new, local system of benefits and to ease the transition period. That’s exactly the same as other, much larger authorities, such as Cornwall.

Under new rules, the Government is to reduce the amount it provides for Council Tax benefits by 10%, but Members will be free set how that’s allocated, although they’ll have to maintain benefits to pensioners.

Peter told Councilors this meant claimants of working age could have lost out heavily, especially as Scilly has a higher than average proportion of pensioners.

The Council were set to loose £7,740 off their funding next year but Peter suggested taking money from the set-up grant to maintain benefits at the current levels.

Councillor Richard McCarthy said the islands had been “extremely lucky” to get such a large sum from the Government, especially as this had been flagged up as such a sizeable problem.

Peter said this is “a pot of money that will serve us well for the future” although he couldn’t confirm how long it would last.