Poor families to be hit by council tax

Two million poor families will be hit by higher council tax bills from April 2015 because of a funding shortfall, according to the Local Government Association.

The government has cut funding that allows councils to give up to 100% discounts in council tax to the poorest households. Since council tax benefit was abolished two years ago in favour of local schemes, 2.4 million households have seen their benefit reduced.

The LGA believes that local authorities will have to find another £1bn in revenue or savings by 2016 to maintain discounts for those on lowest incomes.

In 244 local authority areas in 2014/15, all residents must pay some council tax; there are no 100% discounts at all. The number was 229 in 2013/14.

One in seven councils expect to reduce the discounts for poorest households, while only 27% plan to maintain current discounts.

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