Scots urged to check council tax reduction eligibility

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Citizens Advice Scotland said 25% of people who had ran out of money before payday had skipped payments.

30th July 2019 by Gavin Stuart 0 Comments

Citizens Advice Scotland (CAS) is encouraging people to check their eligibility for a council tax reduction.

The call comes as research for the charity found that 25% of people in Scotland who had ran out of money before payday had to miss paying their council tax as a result, with 8% missing the payment six or more times.

CAS said that many people in this situation could be eligible for a council tax reduction of up to £700 without realising it.

Figures published by the Scottish Government last month revealed that 7,110 fewer households are claiming the reduction compared to March 2018, and almost 75,000 fewer households are claiming it than in 2013, when the new scheme of council tax reduction was introduced.

The organisation’s financial health spokesman Myles Fitt said: “The Citizens Advice network helps and advocates hundreds of thousands of Scots each year and we frequently see cases around council tax debt and people struggling with the cost of living generally. This further research suggests that people who are struggling to make it to pay day will miss a council tax payment as a result.

“This creates a vicious circle, with our advisers having to help thousands of people with council tax debt.

“Yet some people could be benefitting from not having to pay full council tax if they qualify for a reduction and this will help to manage their council tax bills.

“Recent evidence that shows there is a strong lack of public awareness around eligibility for the council tax reduction scheme, which can be worth on average £700 per year.

“We want to put money back in people’s pockets, which is why we  have an online council tax tool can help people get the exemptions, discounts and reductions that they are entitled to.”

In May, CAS launched an online tool to help people check if they are eligible for a council tax reduction at www.checkmycounciltax.scot.

Advice can also be given by the CAS financial health check team on 0800 085 7145, or at any local CAB.