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Council tax benefit cuts to hit Havering

PUBLISHED: 18:00 16 July 2012 | UPDATED: 18:14 16 July 2012

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Havering is set to get a £1.9million cut in council tax benefit as part of latest government plans.

The move was discussed at the cabinet meeting on Wednesday July 11 and it will mean that residents will see a reduction in the benefit that they receive.

The proposals which form part of the government’s Localism Bill is part of plans to give Local Authorities control over their council tax benefit at the same time as cutting the money available by ten per cent.

Havering Council has come up wth an option to restrict benefit to band D, increase non dependant deductions and to increase council tax for second homes in line with technical reforms.

But it is thought that this would have a knock on effect on working age claimants who have non dependants or those who live in properties banded E to H.

It may also affect people who have second homes or homes that are not lived in.

Under the proposals, which are being consulted with the Greater London Authority, pensioners will be protected.

Leader of the Havering Labour Party, Cllr Keith Darvill (Lab, Heaton) said that there needed to be more consultation on the options and he said that he would be calling it in for further discussion at the next overview and scrutiny meeting.

At the end of the meeting, Cllr Steven Kelly (Con, Emerson Park) said that the council may be getting a ten per cent cut in council tax benefit, but they would get the money back.

He said: “The option that we have chosen means that we will be getting the £1.9million back from the council without hurting any particular member of the community.”

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