May 22 2013 Latest news:
Thursday, March 7, 2013
The public purse has been saved an estimated £120,000 a year after more than 450 “inappropriately claimed” single resident council tax discounts were cancelled.
Broadland District Council has been working with a data company to review and crack down on people claiming council tax discounts which they shouldn’t be since the end of August.
Of the 55,000 properties on the books of Broadland, more than 16,000 are allowed 25pc off their bills as single resident households.
The traditional way of reviewing discounts had been to write to people claiming the discount, which made it easy for a person to just write back and confirm entitlement.
The project which has been jointly funded by Norfolk County Council and Norfolk Police Authority, has been so successful because it has utilised information from the credit industry by working with a specialist data company.
Councillor Paul Carrick, portfolio holder for finance at the district council, said: “At Broadland we are determined that those who try to cheat the system are identified and have their discounts removed. They place an unfair burden on the vast majority of honest and genuine residents.”
Recent Audit Commission research found between 4pc and 6pc of the discount claims in the UK could be cancelled because of fraud.
Mr Garrick added: “We want all those residents who are genuinely claiming a discount to continue to receive what they are entitled to.”