Consultation on council plan to help people struggling financially

A consultation is being launched over Lewes District Council’s proposal to increase support for low-income families and people in financial difficulty.  

Cabinet councillors on Thursday, June 10 agreed to move ahead with plans to consult on a new scheme for 2022/23 that would reduce council tax bills for the worst-off working-age people or those on the lowest incomes in the district. 

It would also remove the minimum income floor for the self-employed and there would be no minimum award value. 

Councillor Zoe Nicholson (pictured), Deputy Leader of the Council and Cabinet member for Finance and Assets, said: “Consulting on this scheme is an important step towards our goal of giving people who are struggling the support they need, as Covid continues to impact more heavily on those on low wages and in insecure work. 

“For the first time in years, our scheme will mean that hardworking families in the toughest financial situations will not have to pay any council tax.” 

As a legal requirement for any changes to the LCTR, a consultation on the Co-operative Alliance proposal will now take place with the major preceptors of council tax in Lewes district – East Sussex County Council, Sussex Police and East Sussex Fire and Rescue.

The consultation with major preceptors will run until July 10. A more detailed draft scheme will then be produced and consulted on before it returns to council for a decision. 

Councillor Chris Collier, Cabinet member for Performance and People, said: “We believe this could be a lifeline for people experiencing hardship as they strive to make ends meet through this pandemic and into the future.”