Council describes council tax scheme as one of London's 'most generous'
December 13, 2022
Almost 5,000 households across Ealing will have their council tax reduced even more next year after councillors approved a move to help those hit hardest by the cost-of-living crisis. The move, councillors believe, has made the borough one of the ‘most generous’ in London.
Ealing Council has increased the amount of council tax reduction available to the lowest earners in the borough. The authority also increased the amount residents need to earn for a discount, which will mean more people will be eligible from next year.
Councillor Steve Donnelly, cabinet member for inclusive economy, said, “This change will offer tremendous support and relief hard pressed by the cost-of-living crisis. The income bands have been uprated to make an account for inflation so more people will qualify for reduction and higher rates of reduction than previously.
Ealing Council offers council tax relief for low-income earners in the borough, any household that earns £248.67 or less a week can apply for a discount to their council tax. Those earning £124.33 or less receive the highest discount, 75 per cent, on their council tax.
Under the new measures, which will go into effect in April, any household earning £136.89 or less will have a reduction of 80 per cent. This will increase the amount of council tax relief for 4,933 households across Ealing that currently get 75 per cent discount.
Households that earn £273.79 or less will qualify for at least a 10 per cent reduction to their council tax. But, if you earn more than that figure a week, your household will not qualify for a reduction based on income alone.
When asked by Liberal Democrat Councillor Gary Malcolm why the reduction wasn’t increased to 85 per cent, Cllr Donnelly, replied, “We considered a range of options when we looked at this, in political terms, quite a long time ago, and we obviously had to seek the balance the relief we could offer the poorest in the community with the overall impact on the council’s finances. We took the view that the step from 75 per cent to 80 per cent represented a sensible way forward, it would be nice at all times to offer more but at this occasion we took the view 80 per cent was the right position to take.”
Council leader Peter Mason welcomed the move. He said, “I wish it wouldn’t have to be the case that we have to deal with the supreme rise in challenged faced by our residents who are facing the cost-of-living crisis. We shouldn’t have to take pride in the fact that our council tax reduction scheme is probably one of the most generous in London.
“I would say that we do it because it’s right, council tax remains a regressive form of taxation based on an outdated model of property value from the early 90s therefore we do what we can with the levers of control and power that we can. It is good that we are making progress.”
Megan Stanley - Local Democracy Reporter