The poorest residents in Brighton are set to be hit by a huge increase in council tax charges after Labour and Conservative councillors largely agreed to reduce payment support at a meeting on December 11.
Families strapped for cash could face a 76 per cent hike in council tax charges leading to a yearly increase of approximately £100. Although Labour have the smallest number of councillors in this large area (13) they had the support of all but four Conservative members – with four abstaining – to cut the Council Tax Reduction Scheme (CTRS).
Around 16,000 households would have to pay 15 per cent of their council tax bill – up from 8.5 per cent as proposed by Warren Morgan, Labour Group Leader and a councillor for East Brighton. The Green Party are firmly against this cut in support, but have aimed to introduce a rise in council tax charges across Brighton.
In the New Year a decision will be made by Brighton and Hove City Council on whether council tax charges freeze or increase by 1.99 or 5.99 per cent to protect areas of public service. A spokesperson for Council Tax Advisors CIC, experts in giving free and independent debt advice, released a statement in response to the possible council tax charges in Brighton.
They said: “Brighton and Hove City Council’s plan to reduce support for the most hard-up residents is unfortunately a sign of our economic situation where local government cuts have adversely affected local people. Fortunately, there is a free and effective solution offered by Council Tax Advisors CIC.
“We help those who have fallen behind in their council tax bills and other type of payments by working with councils and bailiffs and delivering affordable repayment plans which adequately consider the harsh economic climate we are living in.”
Council Tax Advisors Community Interest Company (CIC) is a not-for-profit organisation offering free and independent advice and resolution services to those in council tax arrears or any other kind of debt. Formed in 2012 as a direct result of personal experiences with bailiffs, they are expertly placed to give advice and guidance on how best to deal with debt situations and offer long-term sustainable solutions including the organisation of repayment plans and professional mediation services.