Almost £1 million in council tax hardship relief has been paid to nearly 7,000 vulnerable people and households in Sandwell whose finances have been hit hard by the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.
Sandwell Council is using money allocated from the Government’s Hardship Fund to reduce the 2020 to 2021 council tax bills of working age people who are receiving council tax reduction.
The council has so far paid a total of £939,332 to 6,901 working age people who receive support from the Local Council Tax Reduction Scheme, to help to clear council tax bill balances of up to £150.
Sandwell Council Leader Councillor Yvonne Davies said:
“We know some households are experiencing real hardship as a result of changes to their income caused by this pandemic. It is vital we support them.
“We have already helped nearly 7,000 working age people with hardship relief and we stand ready to help others whose financial circumstances may become harder over the coming months.”
Deputy council leader Councillor Wasim Ali, the council’s cabinet member for resources and core services, added:
“This is a very worrying and stressful time for many households and we want to make sure people receive the support they need.
“Our officers are working hard to provide this hardship relief to people as quickly as possible.
“Sandwell is one of the only councils nationwide still providing 100% council tax reduction to its lowest income households and it has done so since Local Council Tax Reduction was introduced over seven years ago.
To find out if you may eligible for council tax reductions, please visit www.sandwell.gov.uk/counciltax More advice is also available at www.sandwell.gov.uk/coronavirusfinancialhelp and from our Welfare Rights Team at www.sandwell.gov.uk/welfarerights