Richmond upon Thames has been able to provide 100% Council Tax reductions for 6,309 residents, providing a financial lifeline for many during the COVID-19 pandemic, Richmond’s Full Council heard at the annual Budget Meeting on Tuesday night. This discretionary support is over and above statutory relief, for example to student households.
An additional 554 residents have been able to claim this support in the past year as the prolonged lockdown, and its impact on businesses and employment has stretched many more household budgets.
In the past 12 months, a total of 9,022 residents have received a level of means-tested relief, compared to 8,384 in 2019/20.
The Council is also continuing a pandemic support scheme to reduce council tax bills by up to £150 for working-age residents who receive a means-tested reduction at less than the 100% level.
Councillor Robin Brown, Lead Member for Finance for Richmond Council, said:
“The pandemic has taken a significant toll on many people’s finances. We have seen this in an increase in the number of residents claiming Universal Credit, now over 10,000 people, and in the increase in residents in receipt of 100% Council Tax relief.
“This Council has worked hard to manage finances to ensure we are able to provide financial relief to those in our community who need it the most. We are also giving financial respite to all residents by raising the Council’s general element of Council Tax by just 0.6%, the lowest increase for five years, and freezing all fees and charges for the next 12 months.”
– from a Richmond Council press release - 4 March 2021