Lincoln council approves tax support scheme

Some of Lincoln’s poorest residents will benefit from a Council Tax Support Scheme approved by the city council.

City of Lincoln councillors agreed to carry on with the authority’s existing for the third year running at a meeting of the full council on Tuesday, January 19.

However, the council is still set to raise their share of council tax for the second successive year by 1.91% for the 2016/2017 financial year.

The city council has pointed to “unprecedented financial challenges” following Chancellor George Osborne’s Spending Review in November 2015 as a reason for the rise.

The council claims its government grant will drop by 99% over the next four years from £2.585 million to £22,000 in 2019/20.

Public consultation on the Council Tax Support Scheme took place in November 2015, and the city council consulted with Lincolnshire County Council and Lincolnshire Police – both of whom receive a share of council tax – before making a recommendation.

The council also approved a £10,000 fund for exceptional hardship cases.

City of Lincoln Council Leader, Councillor Ric Metcalfe

City of Lincoln Council Leader, Councillor Ric Metcalfe

Council leader Ric Metcalfe said: “Protecting our poorest and most vulnerable residents continues to be one of the council’s main priorities and we believe funding the shortfall and giving the support provided under the previous benefit scheme is the right thing to do.

“Council Tax Support has a key role to play in helping to reduce poverty and disadvantage by making sure residents in those households who cannot afford to pay their council tax receive financial support.

“This year’s scheme would also help sick and disabled customers who no longer receive the Disability Premium.”