Lawther appeals for people to apply for Housing Benefit to cut water charges bill

Antrim Alliance Councillor Alan Lawther has said people must apply for Housing Benefit, because as of next year successful applications will also see a reduction in water charges. This linkage follows a successful campaign by Alliance Party collegues, let by Strangford MLA Kieran McCarthy and Local Government Chief Whip Stewart Dickson.

Cllr Lawther stated: “We in Alliance have consistently stated there must be a link between the new rates relief scheme and the affordability tariff which reduces the incoming water charges. Despite our anger at the ‘tap tax’, we are glad this case seems to have been accepted.

“We expect to see any new application for housing benefit being automatically deemed an application for relief on water charges.

“This will make it more worthwhile for people entitled even to partial housing benefit to fill in the complex forms on the basis that they will also be applications to reduce water tax.

“I and my colleagues would urge people to apply for Housing Benefit, at whatever level they are entitled to, as it should now pay back through their water charges.

“We in Alliance will continue to campaign for a fairer overall rating system, including the reduction of taxes based on property size and implementation of taxes based on the services people really consume and use.”


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