Local News

Council tax hardship fund lifeline for residents

Almost 2,000 of Test Valley’s most economically vulnerable households have received up to £300 off their 2020/21 council tax bill, in a bid to alleviate the financial impact of coronavirus on those with the lowest incomes.

The government has allocated £500M nationally and almost £600k to Test Valley Borough Council (TVBC), stipulating that the majority of the hardship fund should be used to reduce council tax bills. As a minimum, this includes reducing council tax bills by £150 for working-age customers who receive council tax support.

But TVBC has decided to double that figure to £300, to bolster the help for its residents.

As a result, more than 1,200 households will not have to pay any council tax this year as the contribution will reduce their bill to zero. A further 500 households will see a significant reduction in their bills.

The discount has been applied automatically, so those eligible do not have to apply. The council is currently issuing revised bills to all those affected.

Leader of Test Valley Borough Council, Councillor Phil North, said: “Millions have felt the financial impact of coronavirus and resulting lockdown, which is why it is more important than ever before that we seek to protect the most vulnerable members of our community.

“It is fantastic that the government has provided this funding for local authorities and our staff are working incredibly hard to pass it on as quickly as possible.”

More information about Test Valley’s council tax support scheme can be found at www.testvalley.gov.uk