Minister urges people to check eligibility for support.
People struggling to pay their council tax during the cost of living crisis are being encouraged to check if they are eligible for money off their bill.
The Council Tax Reduction (CTR) scheme is unique to Scotland and helps people on low incomes save an average of £750 a year on their council tax bill. Those eligible can also save up to 35% on their water and waste charges.
The latest figures published by the Scottish Government show 455,220 recipients received CTR in November 2022, meaning around one-in-five households were benefitting from the scheme.
Public Finance Minister Tom Arthur visited Citizens Advice and Rights Fife today (Wednesday 25 January) to meet staff advising people on dealing with the cost of living crisis. He said:
“We know that this cost of living crisis is hammering people on lower incomes and those already living in poverty. It is vital that people know where to go to get advice and support.
“The Council Tax Reduction scheme will celebrate its tenth anniversary in April and Scottish households have saved more than £3 billion on their council tax since it was introduced. The support it provides has never been more important and I urge people to check whether they are eligible.
“Information can be obtained from your local Citizens Advice Bureau – like the excellent facility I visited in Glenrothes today – local councils and the Money Talk Team service promoted by the Scottish Government, as well as online.”
Chief Executive Officer of Citizens Advice and Rights Fife, David Redpath, said:
“We are experiencing unprecedented demand for advice on how to maximise incomes to the cost of living crisis.
“Council Tax Reduction plays a key role in making budgets stretch further and we encourage people to check if they are eligible for a reduction, discount or even an exemption from paying council tax.
“Citizens Advice and Rights Fife is here to help people find ways to ease the cost of living whether that is council tax or any other daily living costs.”
The Council Tax Reduction scheme assesses a household’s income, capital and circumstances so is open to all, including people not in receipt of benefits.
People can check whether they are eligible for CTR through mygov.scot or by contacting their local council. Details of other help available including extra financial support or help with things like food, heating and electricity can be found on the Scottish Government’s cost of living crisis support website.
Council Tax Reduction: April 2013 to November 2022 statistics were published on 24 January 2023.
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