Coronavirus: Hardship fund will see some city council tax bills slashed to zero

PUBLISHED: 09:58 01 April 2020 | UPDATED: 09:59 01 April 2020

Norwich City Council Labour leader Alan Waters Picture: Ian Burt

Norwich City Council Labour leader Alan Waters Picture: Ian Burt

Archant 2018

Some of the most vulnerable households in the city area will see their councils tax bills slashed to zero thanks to a new ‘hardship fund’, City Hall has revealed.

Amid the coronavirus outbreak the government last month confirmed that a £500m hardship fund had been created to help support vulnerable people through these difficult times.

And Norwich City Council has now confirmed that it will use its allocation from this fund to make sure those in most desperate need will not have to pay a penny towards their council tax bills while lockdown measures continue.

In a video explaining how the fund will work, council leader Alan Waters said the scheme would help further support those already receiving support with their bills.

He said: “If you do not receive any council tax relief it is important that if your circumstances haven’t changed that you continue to pay what you should and maintain your payment plans detailed on your bill.

“For people that do receive help with their council tax bills - both working and pension age - we will use the hardship fund to reduce your council tax bill to zero so you will not have anything to pay for as long as you remain allegeable for council tax reduction until the financial year 20/21.

“Any payments we have received in April will be refunded if applicable and we will re-issue bills, but please bear with us as this may take a few weeks to sort out.”

Mr Waters added that the council had also suspended legal enforcement to cover any council tax debts.

He added: “If you are struggling to pay your council tax there is support available and the council can help you if you have been affected.

“This is a difficult time for all of us so please do keep up to date with what is happening and finally, stay safe and stay well.”

The £500m fund was announced in March’s budget and last month, Trevor Holden, managing director of Broadland and South Norfolk Council also penned a letter urging vulnerable people to make use of it.

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