News release: Bedford Borough Council is one of the few local authorities in the country that offers up to 100 per cent Council Tax support for the most vulnerable and hard-pressed households. In comparison, Central Bedfordshire Council only offers up to 75 per cent Council Tax support. As a result, the most financially challenged households in Bedford Borough receive on average around £400 extra support each year than they would get under the scheme used by the Conservative-run Central Bedfordshire Council.
Mayor Dave Hodgson said “It is essential that we can provide a comprehensive Council Tax Reduction Scheme so that our most vulnerable families can afford to buy food and heat their homes. Recently this has become even more important as families face the cost of living crisis. Here in Bedford Borough people will have around £400 a year extra support than in other council areas. This will make a real difference for people facing tough choices about heating or eating.”
The difference in support between Bedford Borough and a 75 per cent scheme, like the one Central Bedfordshire Council has, can be calculated using figures for the average Council Tax paid for each Band in Bedford Borough and finding the 25 per cent.
Compared to a 75 per cent scheme, the average household receiving 100 per cent Council Tax Support in Bedford Borough receives:
- £343.75 extra support in Band A
- £401 extra support in Band B
- £458.50 extra support in Band C
- £515.75 extra support in Band D
Multiplying these figures by the number of households receiving 100 per cent Council Tax support in each Band and then adding the totals, results in approximately £1.9 million in extra support compared to a 75 per cent Council Tax Reduction Scheme.
Portfolio Holder for Finance, Councillor Michael Headley said “When the Government put financial pressure on councils to cut their help for local residents, we stood our ground to make sure that we can support our residents in their time of need. This has been a lifeline for many families who are in need of support. All of our residents now face a brutal cost of living crisis, which is likely to get worse as we move into winter. We have supported our most vulnerable residents throughout because it is the right thing to do. Unlike this Government who have ignored calls for help with this crisis for months and are now only acting to save their own skin.
“And we should remember that all households have benefited from our good financial management with Council Tax increases since 2009 being the fourth lowest of all unitary councils in the country.”
Bedford Borough Council has added a new webpage dedicated to helping residents with the cost of living crisis.