Yet again the Vale of Glamorgan Council is to freeze the “discount” on council tax that it grudgingly pays-back to Penarth pensioners* at just £40 per annum.
In the last four years the Labour-run Vale Council has increased Council Tax by over 18.2% – but, despite this huge increase, the so-called Council Tax Discount- designed to help some of the poorest pensioners in Penarth – has been held at a flat rate of £40 a year.
Now, yet again, the council is to hold down the discount at the current £40 level for a fourth successive year (2016/17) – the same cash level it was set at 2013.
The decision hits some of Penarth’s poorest people who find meeting the ever-escalating cost of the Vale’s constantly increasing council tax demands more and more difficult to meet.
The Vale Council says * The discount is payable to Council Tax payers aged over 60 who are in receipt of an award under the Council Tax Reduction Scheme and those who are over the age of 70 who are not in receipt of an award under the Council Tax Reduction Scheme” – but it only applies to those pensioners who are actually personally liable to pay the Council Tax
When the scheme was first floated out as a naked pre-election bribe in 2012 the Labour Party said it would apply to all households in which there was someone over 70 who wasn’t already receiving benefits.
Once in power, the Vale Council’s Labour administration dropped the scheme and tried to deny all knowledge of it – but after a public outcry it was belatedly introduced in a much-watered-down form which excluded most of the households it had originally been intended for.
Because it isn’t linked to inflation, the payment remains static and it has not increased to keep step with annual increases in Vale of Glamorgan Council Tax Bills – which have relentlessly risen above inflation every year since the Labour administration came to power in 2012 .