Every home in Rother to pay towards council tax

Rother District Council
Rother District Council

Every household in Rother will have to pay at least 20 per cent of their council tax bill regardless of their situation.

There will be a hardship fund set up for those who cannot afford the £4.78 average weekly payment and a minimum assumed income for self-employed people.

Rother District Council agreed to the changes to the council tax reduction scheme at a meeting on Monday (December 14).

The three Liberal Democrat councillors voted against the recommendation including Sue Prochak who described the council as hypocritical for not raising council tax instead.

Cllr Kathryn Field said: “I think it’s very mean of this council to expect the poorest and most disadvantaged in this society to pay 20 per cent of their council tax.

“And it might only be a few pounds a week, but what might be a few pounds to some of us may be a great many pounds to other people.”

In a consultation on the proposal, 92 per cent of respondants agreed that everyone should contribute towards the tax. And 46 per cent believe it should be 20 per cent.

Council leader Carl Maynard (Con) said that it is ‘right and proper’ that everyone pays a minimum amount for the authority’s services.

Cllr Charles Clark (independent) believes that everyone should contribute something and would be able to afford the amount with a bit of budgeting.

A recent Labour candidate, Paul Courtel, said he is particularly concerned with assuming self-employed people work a minimum 35 hours a week.

“This proposal makes it even harder for some hard working but financially overstretched people, struggling to make their contribution to society, to pay their bills,” he said.

Bexhill mayor Maurice Watson (Lab) said the was initially concerned about the effect the proposal would have on his Sidley ward residents.

But he now believes that the council needs the money and voted in favour.

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