Want to see changes to Newham’s benefit system?

If you have strong views on changes to the benefits system, Newham Council wants to hear from you.

The Government is due to replace the current council tax benefit on March 31, 2013 with a localised Council Tax Support Scheme (CTS).

This means each council has to develop its own scheme and will have 10 per cent less funding from Government to pay for it – around a �3.6m shortfall.

The council now has to decide which people of working age should continue to get help to pay their council tax bills and how much this should be.

An outline scheme of a local Council Tax Support that might work in Newham has been drafted and the views of residents are being sought. A confidential consultation on the proposals is running until November 23 2012.

Councillor Lester Hudson, Cabinet member for finance, property and support services, said: “This is a big challenge for Newham. The council has to consider various options for a new scheme to take into account the reduced budget, while supporting residents on low incomes.

“We have to make some difficult decisions about who gets financial support and how much while protecting the most vulnerable people such as pensioners. To create a system that is as fair as possible and in line with the needs of the community, we are putting together proposals for a new system and consulting with residents to see how you feel this would work in Newham.”

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To take part in the consultation, go to www.newham.gov.uk, call 0800 358 0337 for a paper copy, go to one of Newham’s libraries or email CTSConsultation@newham.gov.uk

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