National Fraud Initiative Database Will Catch Southport Residents Who Wrongly Claim Sole Adult Occupier Discount

7th January 2015

A review of Council Tax discounts is being carried out by Sefton Council.

The review, which started in December, will focus on residents who claim Sole Adult Occupier Discount.

All local authorities 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.

There are currently 46,239 residents claiming the Sole Adult Occupier Discount across the borough and the discounts are worth £13.8 million in relief annually.

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.”

Any residents who think they may no longer be entitled to a Council Tax discount should contact 0845 140 0845.

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