Help for elderly in dealing with tax increase

PUBLISHED: 12:30 02 February 2006 | UPDATED: 09:32 06 May 2010

A CAMPAIGN to help pensioners claim cash they are entitled to in tax credits was launched this week. The move came on the day Bedfordshire County Council announced a proposed increase of 4.88 per cent in their council tax precept. The tax hike means a ris

A CAMPAIGN to help pensioners claim cash they are entitled to in tax credits was launched this week.

The move came on the day Bedfordshire County Council announced a proposed increase of 4.88 per cent in their council tax precept.

The tax hike means a rise of £3.58 a month for people living in a band C property and those living in a band D house will have to find an extra £4.02.

But Mid Beds residents are likely to be hit with an additional £99 a year on a band D property when Mid Beds District Council announce their precept for the coming year at the beginning of March.

The council's executive will meet next Wednesday when they are expected to endorse a proposal for a 4.9 per cent increase.

Now there are fears the rises will put some people, especially the elderly, on the breadline which is why the Biggleswade and District Pensioners' Association is taking to the streets to tell the elderly how they can reduce their council tax bills by claiming tax credits.

"We will be going out into the centres of Biggleswade and Sandy soon handing out leaflets which will help pensioners claim the tax credits they are entitled to but many don't know about," said association chairman Ken Lynch.

"This is money many desperately need because many are living on the breadline in the area. Council tax is spiralling out of control and if pensioners don't get any help many will suffer from poverty.

"If more people joined our association we would have a stronger voice. The new rates are going to be a big shock to the elderly."

The association has a special meeting at Mid Beds District Council's offices in Biggleswade next Wednesday starting at 2.30pm where new members are being encouraged to attend.

The county council says the new budget will mean investment in schools and children's homes and contains £59m to maintain roads and footpaths.

But there will be reductions in the music, archive, countryside and heritage services.

Herts County Council will decide its tax precept on February 21.

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