Dales to lose out

WORKING-age claimants in the Derbyshire Dales face a reduction in their council tax benefits from April 1, but pensioners will not be affected.

Following the Government’s decision to abolish the national council tax benefit scheme, Derbyshire Dales District Council last week approved a new local council tax support scheme, which will see claimants having to pay no more than 8.5 per cent of their liability.

A Hardship Relief Fund has also been set up, granting relief on an exceptional basis for limited periods.

To meet the additional cost of the new scheme, the district council has to find savings of £400,000 over the next two years, some of which could be generated by reducing council tax discounts on empty properties and second homes in the Dales.

Leader of Derbyshire Dales District Council, Councillor Lewis Rose OBE, said: “The Government has given us no choice but to make changes that will affect local people.

“We have worked hard to develop a scheme that balances the need for savings with maintaining protection for vulnerable households.”