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Ensuring fairness on council discounts

PUBLISHED: 17:32 29 March 2010 | UPDATED: 09:30 01 August 2010

WAVENEY residents who are incorrectly claiming a 'single occupier' discount on their council tax are being given the opportunity to update their details before a comprehensive data matching exercise begins.

WAVENEY residents who are incorrectly claiming a 'single occupier' discount on their council tax are being given the opportunity to update their details before a comprehensive data matching exercise begins.

Around 17,900 households in the Waveney area receive the 25pc single occupier reduction, which last year amounted to a total of more than £4.8m in discounts.

In early April, the council will be comparing its council tax data with other sources of information, to identify cases where this discount is being claimed inappropriately.

Terri Lawson, Waveney District Council's revenues manager said: “We believe that most council tax discounts are being claimed honestly and legitimately and meet the need they are intended for. We also know that when circumstances change, people sometimes forget to tell us that their eligibility for the discount has ended.

“The system must be fair for everyone and whilst we work hard to ensure those who qualify for discounts or exemptions receive them, we are also obliged to ensure that others do not benefit by withholding information.”

It is a statutory requirement for council tax payers to inform the council within 28 days if they think they no longer qualify for the discount.

The council can charge a penalty of £70 for those who do not do this, but it is offering an amnesty until Tuesday, April 6.

Customers that update their eligibility details before this date will not be charged the penalty and their address will be removed from the data matching process.

Householders wishing to discuss their circumstances can contact the billing team on 01502 523534 or by calling in person at any of the council offices.

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