Merton Council has announced it will be offering financial support to around 2,650 of the borough’s least well off residents to help them with the economic impact of the COVID-19 outbreak. All residents of working age who are in receipt of council tax support and have a balance to pay will be eligible for up to £200 off their council tax bill.
Recipients of this reduction are currently being notified by the council, and some will have had their overall bill for the year reduced to nothing.
The reduction is funded by the £1.48 million that the council received as part of the Government’s Local Authority Hardship Fund. Whilst all councils are required to give a reduction to council tax support recipients, Merton’s support goes further than the £150 discount that is being offered by most local authorities across the country.
This financial support for individuals comes after the council has already distributed £23.8 million worth of grants to help local businesses through this tough period. With 90% of eligible businesses now having received their grant, Merton has one of the highest rates of grant distribution in London.
Councillor Mark Allison, Merton’s Cabinet Member for Finance, said: “One of the council’s key goals is to bridge the gap between low-income households and everyone else. COVID-19 has hit the finances of many people but, the impact is obviously worse for those who were already financially stretched.
“That’s why we’re going further than most by offering up to £200 off the bills of working age residents who get support with their council tax. We already offer one of the most generous council tax support schemes in the country, and I would encourage anyone whose income has fallen as a result of coronavirus to have a look to see if they can get this help.”
Notes: Anyone whose income has been affected by the coronavirus outbreak can check whether they are entitled to Council Tax Support at merton.gov.uk/CouncilTaxSupport.