Posted: Thu 26th Mar 2020

Updated: Thu 26th Mar

Council Tax – No changes to current payment arrangements despite coronavirus crisis

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales

Flintshire County Council has moved to clear up “confusion” over Council Tax and whether people still need to pay it during the coronavirus outbreak.

Without further emergency funding from Welsh Government, Council Tax will need to be paid as normal, the council has said. 

In a statement, the local authority said “any decisions on temporary changes to the collection of Council Tax would need to be made by Government.”

“Some people are experiencing difficulties and are worried they cannot make their payments. 

The Council is able to offer support and advice if you find yourselves in this situation.”

“If you qualify and you are in need of advice and assistance you can contact our Council Tax team on 01352 704848 or by email at local.taxation@flintshire.gov.uk or you can visit our website flintshire.gov.uk/CouncilTax ”

Residents may be entitled to pay less council tax if:

  • you believe you live on a low-income
  • you live alone, or with people / children who do not pay council tax
  • you are a student
  • you are disabled
  • you are mentally impaired
  • your property is empty

Those wanting to contact the council are being “call volumes are very high and we are receiving large numbers of emails.” 

“We appreciate this may be frustrating for you. 

The large majority of people trying to contact us understand the situation and are being patient and respectful with our employees. 

We would like to ask all callers to be mindful of this.” The council said.

The statement goes onto to say: “Many people can still afford to pay their Council Tax. Council Tax is a local tax that raises a third of the Council’s total income. 

In this emergency situation the Council Tax you pay is helping to fund the essential services we must continue to provide to support people and communities. 

The Council has prioritised essential services where they protect life, protect the vulnerable, ensure public safety, keep the transport infrastructure open and help key workers to do their job. ”

These services include: 

  • running residential care homes
  • supporting vulnerable adults in their homes and in care settings
  • providing domiciliary care for people in their own homes
  • helping people discharge from hospital to ‘free up’ hospital beds
  • supporting vulnerable children in their homes and in care settings
  • running Extra Care Housing Schemes
  • helping and accommodating the homeless
  • paying out housing benefits
  • giving welfare advice to those in need of support with their family income
  • food distribution for people in need and those in poverty
  • opening schools as childcare centres for the children of key workers
  • public protection and environmental health including food safety and animal welfare
  • collecting waste from households
  • keeping the highways network open and running
  • keeping cemeteries open
  • registration of births and deaths
  • support to small and medium sized local business and giving them emergency grant support on behalf of Governments

“Any decisions on temporary changes to the collection of Council Tax would need to be made by Governments. 

The Council simply collects the Tax. 

There’s a call for local authorities to be given extra money to enable them to give council tax breaks to householders facing financial pressures because of coronavirus.”

Plaid Cymru says the Welsh Government should urgently fund councils to enable them to help ease the burden on council tax payers.

The Welsh Government announced an extra £30million for authorities to cope with the crisis, but much of this has already been ringfenced for support for the homeless and free school meals.

It leaves only £13million in additional support for Wales 22 local authorities.

 



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