MSP URGES COUNCILS TO CHANGE TAX FREE MONTHS

WDC offices in Church Street; Jackie Baillie MSP and Argyll and Bute logo.

By Bill Heaney

Jackie Baillie, MSP for Dumbarton, Vale of Leven, Helensburgh and Lomond,  has asked both West Dunbartonshire Council and Argyll and Bute Council to change the current council tax break months from February and March to April and May.

This would be done to ensure that those currently feeling the financial strain caused by the covid-19 pandemic would have the worry of paying council tax in April and May removed.

Many local residents have either been forced to not work because of temporary business closures or have had their working hours severely reduced. This has left them with a much smaller income than usual.

Argyll and Bute and West Dunbartonshire Councils responded to Jackie Baillie’s requests for a change to the council tax year. Both councils agreed to consider any change to payments on a case by case basis.

They have encouraged anyone who believes they will not be able to pay their council tax for April and May to contact the local authority directly.

Jackie Baillie MSP said:  “This is an incredibly worrying and uncertain time for all of us. For my constituents who just manage to make ends meet each month, this will be a very stressful time for them. Many people are experiencing significant loss of income and are relying on personal savings and government funded payments to stay afloat.

“I would encourage anyone who believes that paying council tax in April and May would leave them at a severe economic disadvantage to contact your local authority. They are there to help make this time more manageable for you. Some may even be eligible for council tax reduction benefit.

“My office is still operating, albeit not on a face-to-face basis. I encourage anyone who would like advice to get in touch with me or the Council.”

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