Thousands of pensioners to get extra help

More than 2,200 pensioners in Carmarthenshire are to get extra help paying their council tax this year.

The county council will be securing a £134,000 Welsh Assembly grant to provide the assistance.

It will be shared amongst pensioners who currently receive partial council tax benefit, and means around an extra £60 off the council tax bill for the 2,200 or so people who will qualify.

Executive board members are expected to rubberstamp the scheme at their next meeting on October 19.

Resources executive board member Cllr Wyn Evans said: “This scheme will provide extra help to those who already qualify for council tax benefit, but are still paying a certain amount.

“It will provide more assistance for those who need it, particularly during these troubled financial times.”

Some £20,000 of the grant is also being made available for Age Concern Carmarthenshire to help them with their outreach service and volunteer recruitment scheme.

Any surplus cash will be used as a hardship fund for any individual cases identified as needing assistance, on an ad hoc basis.

Many people qualify for full council tax benefit, which means they will not need to pay anything and many others will qualify for some reduction but according to government statistics one in three people are not claiming the reduction they are entitled to.

Residents are urged to check up on whether they can claim for help with their Council Tax or Rent. Free advice is on offer from the county council’s housing benefits team; they can provide information and assess what help, if any, people may be entitled to.

Call 0800 288 9002 or email [email protected] for more information.


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