Hundreds of Bassetlaw pensioners missing out on council tax help

More than 800 fewer pensioners are claiming support than five years ago. Photo: Joe Giddens.
More than 800 fewer pensioners are claiming support than five years ago. Photo: Joe Giddens.

Hundreds of pensioners in Bassetlaw are losing out on help to pay their council tax, new figures show.

Low-income households and pensioners in England can apply for a discount or exemption on their council tax under the Council Tax Reduction Scheme.

In Bassetlaw, 3,555 pensioners were claiming support in the three months to December, Government figures show.

That was a 19 per cent drop compared to the same period in 2015, meaning 809 fewer people were receiving the help.

But Turn2us, a charity which helps people in financial hardship, says vulnerable households are struggling to navigate an increasingly complex and confusing support system.

Varuk Kanish, campaigns manager at the charity, said: “The localisation of council tax support schemes has increased the complexity of an already confusing system, resulting in more people missing out.”

Fewer working-age people were also claiming council tax support in Bassetlaw last year, although the number has fallen less sharply than in the case of pensioners.

Between October and December, 4,198 working-age people claimed a discount on their tax, down from 4,691 in 2015 – an 11 per cent drop.

A spokesman for the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, said: “Councils in England will have access to £49.2 billion next year – the biggest annual real-terms increase in spending power in a decade.

“People having difficulty paying their council tax should talk to the billing authority about their situation.”