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Coronavirus

Published on 27 March 2020

Coronavirus

Council Tax Support

All district councils in Cumbria have in place existing support schemes to assist anyone who is struggling to pay their Council Tax bill, with up to 100% relief for those most in need.

We are doing all we can to support businesses, vulnerable people and households in line with Government guidance. It is not within our powers to suspend Council tax collection. This could only be authorised by national government.

We have a statutory responsibility to collect Council Tax to fund key local services, from adult social care and children’s services, to refuse collections and leisure facilities. A proportion of the final bill also funds the police. It should be remembered that all of these agencies are involved in the current response to the Coronavirus outbreak and have vital roles to play in supporting our communities, keeping vital services such as public health and waste collections operating and administering the business support grants and funding announced by government.

A £500million Hardship Fund to support economically vulnerable people and households was also announced in the Budget Statement on 11 March. When this scheme is up and running, we will provide an update.

In the meantime, we appreciate that this is a difficult time for everyone, and we will offer you as much help as we can to local residents. Here’s some advice for residents:

  • If you’re employed, please check with your employer to see if you will receive 80% of your wage or if you are entitled to Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) from the government. If you are not eligible for SSP - for example if you are self-employed or earning below the Lower Earnings Limit of £118 per week - and you have COVID-19 or are advised to stay at home, you can make a claim for Universal Credit or new style Employment and Support Allowance. You can do this online at www.gov.uk/apply-universal-credit
  • Council Tax is normally divided over 10 months from April until January. We can divide your yearly charge over 12 months to lower the monthly instalment, to help if you are struggling with your payments. We can also offer weekly and fortnightly arrangements if this is easier.
  • If you are struggling to pay your Council Tax, please get in touch. You may able to claim Council Tax Reduction, this could be up to 100%. Find out more at https://www.carlisle.gov.uk/Residents/Benefits-and-support/Appy-For-It
  • Please don’t defer payments if you can still manage to pay your Council Tax. If we do, it may result in you having to pay a higher charge at the end of the financial year if further instalments cannot be paid.

Any residents who are struggling or worried about their council tax position can find out about the support available. Please contact us by emailing [email protected] or call 01228 817200. 

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