Council To Offer Discretionary Housing Benefit Top-Ups In Scilly

hugh town from garrisonThe Council will be offering discretionary top-up payments for people receiving housing benefit after accepting a one-off £17,000 grant from the Department for Work and Pensions.

However Council vice chair Amanda Martin said they would need to make it very clear to claimants that these payments couldn’t be guaranteed for more than a year.

This followed concerns raised by Cllr Chris Savill who said they could be, “raising hopes in one year, only to be dashed the next.”

Government rules state that the Council could hand out a further £43,000 in top-ups from its own funds, but members declined to take that option.

The grant is designed to help claimants make up the shortfall between their payments under the old Housing Benefit system and the new regulations, with the ‘bedroom tax’ being applied.

It’s estimated there are around five claimants on the islands that could be impacted by this shortfall and a further twenty that could put forward applications for the payment.