A scheme that reduces the amount of Council Tax paid by the most vulnerable people in Barrow could continue for two more years.

A meeting will be held on Wednesday by the borough council into whether it will back the continuation of the Local Council Tax Reduction Scheme, which has been in place since 2013.

The scheme offers reduction for all eligible residents, supporting people on benefits or low incomes. Last year it helped 6,268,households in Barrow.

The scheme was introduced as a replacement for the national Council Tax Benefit Scheme, which was abolished in 2013. The old national scheme was paid for by a 100% grant from central government, but this was reduced to 90 percent when responsibility for the grant was passed to local authorities.

Reductions to household council tax bills have meant that the amount of income lost to the authority has risen sharply in the last year.

A council report said that the rise in reductions was likely to be influenced by the pandemic impacting on some household incomes in the borough.

It goes on to warn that there may be a further impact to come once the furlough scheme comes to an end.

The adopted local scheme ensures that those receiving council tax support receive the same amount as they would under the council tax benefit regime

The cost of council tax support is shared between Barrow borough council, Cumbria county council and the Police and crime commissioner for Cumbria.

The meeting of the Barrow borough council Executive Committee will be chaired by Councillor Derek Brook, who is the lead member for community, and also represents Ormsgill for Labour. You can view the meeting online.