Author: Age Cymru
Published on 19 December 2012 11:30 AM
Responding to a Welsh Government debate today about the future of Council Tax Benefit in Wales, Age Cymru’s Head of Policy and Public Affairs, Graeme Francis, says:
“This is a significant change which will affect large numbers of older people in Wales.
“More than a third of Council Tax benefit claimants are over the age of 65 - equivalent to over 120,000 pensioner households in Wales, and one in five are women aged over 65 living alone – 66,000 people.
“Older women living alone are already the group of people most likely to be living in poverty in the UK.
“Many in this group will now be required to begin paying Council Tax for the first time from April 2013, putting further strain on tight household budgets.
“Unlike in England the Welsh Government has decided not to protect this group of people from the impact of the change.
“It is vital now that information and advice is provided at the earliest opportunity to people who will be affected by these changes, and that support is given to ensure that people are receiving the full income they are entitled to.
“In light of these changes we also believe that the Welsh Government must continue to provide local authorities with additional funding to assist pensioners with their Council Tax.”