Thursday, 30 July 2015

Council tax discount move nets £468,000

Interesting press release from Ipswich Borough council and another example of a step towards more fairness.

Tightening the procedures over single person’s discounts for council tax has resulted in almost half a million pounds in extra income, three councils announced today.

Babergh, Ipswich and Mid Suffolk councils, which work together in the Shared Revenue Partnership (SRP), have been trialling new software to investigate possible discrepancies over discount claims.

By accessing credit agency records, SRP can highlight potential dual/multiple occupancy households. Where people other than the accredited resident are shown to be living at a property receiving a discount, the SRP team contacts them to verify their entitlement to claim.

Councillor Derrick Haley, Chairman of the SRP, said “This is helping us to recover more income on behalf of all council tax-payers and shows the importance of residents letting us know as soon as their circumstances change or are about to change. All three councils want to ensure that those entitled to the discount are able to claim it, but those that shouldn’t claim and are claiming will be identified and will have to pay the full amount owing. That is only fair.”

Of the 8,390 accounts investigated, almost 1,500 single person discounts, worth £468,000, were removed. New bills have been issued reflecting the changes. 

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