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Thousands of families to be offered council tax support

PUBLISHED: 11:41 07 April 2020 | UPDATED: 11:41 07 April 2020

The Hardship Fund was announced by Chancellor Rishi Sunak to support those affected by the coronavirus pandemic. Picture: VICTORIA JONES/PA

The Hardship Fund was announced by Chancellor Rishi Sunak to support those affected by the coronavirus pandemic. Picture: VICTORIA JONES/PA

PA Wire/PA Images

More than 4,000 homes across two Suffolk districts are set to receive letters pledging additional council tax support during the coronavirus pandemic.

Babergh District Council leader John Ward said he recognised the worries of households which may be struggling financially during the coronavirus pandemic. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNBabergh District Council leader John Ward said he recognised the worries of households which may be struggling financially during the coronavirus pandemic. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Babergh and Mid Suffolk district councils confirmed this week that they had written to 4,372 homes which already receive Local Council Tax Support, with letters being posted throughout the week.

The letters detail how low income households can receive support from the Government’s new Hardship Fund, which could reduce council tax by up to £150.

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Ipswich Borough Council has already written to 7,000 properties outlining Hardship Fund support.

John Whitehead, Mid Suffolk District Council cabinet member for finance, said a balance needed to be struck between supporting homes and continuing to fund crucial services. Picture: PAUL NIXONJohn Whitehead, Mid Suffolk District Council cabinet member for finance, said a balance needed to be struck between supporting homes and continuing to fund crucial services. Picture: PAUL NIXON

Councillor John Ward, Babergh District Council leader, said: “In the weeks and months ahead, our energy and resources will be focused on supporting our residents, our businesses and our communities to weather this storm.

“We know how worried people are about the financial impact of coronavirus and extra help is available.

“The Hardship Fund will support those who need help most – but there is support available for all residents who genuinely need it.

“If your household income has reduced, you may be entitled to extra help. We urge anyone concerned to check the support available on our website and if you’re still worried, complete the enquiry form and a member of the team will contact you to find out if we can help.”

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According to the councils, the Hardship Fund will be automatically applied to households already receiving Local Council Tax Support, meaning they do not need to apply for it.

Additionally, homes which may have lost income as a result of the COVID-19 crisis may also be eligible for support, and are encouraged to find out more on the councils’ websites.

Councillor John Whitehead, finance cabinet member for Mid Suffolk District Council, said: “We know how worried people are about the financial impact of this national emergency and are looking to reduce their bills wherever possible, but council tax is an essential source of income for us to be able to respond to, and support our residents during this difficult time.

“The council tax we collect primarily funds Suffolk County Council as well as ourselves, Suffolk police and our town and parish councils, who collectively are at the heart of supporting the most vulnerable members of our communities.

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“We have to find the balance between helping those genuinely in financial hardship, whilst still being able to sustain essential services for our county and districts.”

Visit the website here to find out more.


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