Thousands of working age residents in Bath and North East Somerset are set to have their council tax reduced to help prevent financial hardship during the coronavirus pandemic.

Bath & North East Somerset Council has made an urgent decision to reduce council tax liability to lessen people’s financial burden at a time when they may already be on a reduced income due to stay-at-home measures.

The council’s deputy leader, Richard Samuel, made the decision which authorises officers to immediately reduce the council tax liability for all working age recipients of Local Council Tax Support during 2020/21 by the lower figure of their remaining liability for that year, or £150.

In many cases, this will reduce the amount residents have to pay to nil.

The scheme is funded by the Government’s £500m hardship fund for local authorities.

Councillor Richard Samuel said: “Many people in Bath and North East Somerset are suffering from financial hardship caused by the economic impacts of Covid-19. We want to offer them urgent help to lessen the burden, which is why I have made the decision to reduce council tax liability for people of working age to come into effect as soon as possible.

“This decision would normally require a full council meeting, but due to the urgency of the situation and councillors being unable to meet at the moment, I have had no choice but to go ahead so we can support our residents.  A full report will be made to the next available council meeting explaining the decision, the reasons for it and why the decision was treated as a matter of urgency.”

The decision was made under part 4C, Rule 4 of the council’s constitution as an urgent decision. It can be viewed by following this link https://democracy.bathnes.gov.uk/ieDecisionDetails.aspx?id=1391&LLL=0

More information about council tax support can be found here https://beta.bathnes.gov.uk/apply-council-tax-support