NEIL Hamilton, MS for Mid & West Wales and Leader of UKIP Wales, has welcomed news of additional funds to help those struggling with paying council tax.
Mr Hamilton, a member of the Climate Change, Environment and Rural Affairs committee, was commenting after it was announced local council across Wales, are set to receive an additional £2.6m to help them meet the increasing demand for the Welsh Government’s Council Tax Reduction Scheme.
“I welcome this announcement and am delighted to see more money being made available to help those who most need it.
“Many households across Wales were already struggling to cope because of the continual squeeze by the Welsh Government. The Covid- 19 outbreak has now added severely to that pressure.
“This scheme is a lifeline to low income families, especially at this time with many people facing unemployment and reduced incomes because of the pandemic.
“It is really important, however, that people know there is help there for them as the bills mount up and they struggle to make ends meet.
“The Welsh Government’s Council Tax Reduction Scheme was set up to help low income households across Wales and already supports nearly 300,000 families with their council tax bills.
“I would urge anyone who is struggling to make ends meet during the Coronavirus crisis, to act now and check whether they are eligible by contacting their local council.”
This additional funding takes the total amount of Covid -19 support for the scheme to nearly £5.5m, helping local authorities to manage the increase in demand without compromising the services they already provide.
The Welsh Government continues to work with the Welsh Local Government Association, WLGA and local authorities to understand the longer term effects of increased demand on the scheme and to assess the extent of any decline in council tax collection on local authorities.
Councillor Anthony Hunt, WLGA Spokesperson for Finance and Resources said: “Councils know that many people have experienced financial hardship during this period and we want people to know that we are here to help.
“These are exceptional times and we are seeing increases in applications for support right across Wales. If you are having difficulty in paying your council tax please contact your local authority to ensure you are getting all the assistance available.”