Sefton is eagerly looking to claw back some of that money, as it battles to overcome a £55 million budget deficit. The authority has now started a review which will focus on all residents who claim Sole Adult Occupier Discount. It says that all local councils have a statutory responsibility to ensure that they collect all the Council Tax which is due and that any relief granted, such as the 25 per cent Sole Adult Occupier Discount, is only awarded where there is valid entitlement.
Rather than contacting every resident that currently claims the discount, Sefton Council will undertake a residency check using data from the National Fraud Initiative database.
This exercise, which has proved highly successful in many local authorities across the UK, will identify people that may not be eligible to claim the 25 per discount.
As part of the review, residents contacted will be given information on other discounts that they may be entitled to claim. This will include details of the type of reductions available, an indication of eligibility criteria, and contact details for residents to use when enquiring about claiming.
A spokesman for Sefton Council said: “Where these checks have been done by other local authorities, the savings for Council Tax payers have been quite substantial.
“Any discount given to residents reduces the revenue we are able to collect, therefore, we need to ensure that only those people that are due a discount are awarded one.
“As a result of any ineligible people ceasing to claim, this will enable greater resources to be devoted to vital services.”
Source: Southport Visiter