Council Tax Discount Crackdown Recoups £500,000
Almost 2,000 people have been found to be wrongly claiming a discount on their Council Tax – recouping Cheshire East Council £500,000 per year.
The authority contacted residents who claim a single person discount of 25 percent after information collated during an audit suggested at least one other adult was living at the address.
Those found to have been wrongly claiming the discount were issued with a bill for the outstanding amount backdated to April 1 2010 – an average of £250 per person.
The audit, which cost the Council £80,000, will result in £500,000 extra income every year.
It was carried out by specialist company Northgate which worked with credit information group Experian to check personal details against a national database.
Claimants were asked to confirm whether they still lived alone, and if not, to give the details of the additional people living at their address. Those who failed to respond were issued with a backdated bill.
Councillor Wesley Fitzgerald, Leader of the Council and Portfolio Holder for Resources, said: “The single person discount system is designed for those who genuinely need extra help. Sadly, there are a few people who are prepared to abuse it.
“Withdrawing the discount from 2,000 fraudulent claimants will generate an additional £500,000 every year which can be invested in essential services.”
“This is an extremely just outcome which reflects our commitment to be a well-managed council and work with others to deliver for Cheshire East.
“Significantly, it is a victory for the vast majority of our residents who are honest, hardworking taxpayers.”