Wales leads the way in helping most vulnerable access crucial council tax discount

A new Welsh Government initiative aimed at making it easier for people living with severe mental impairments to get discounts and reimbursements on their council tax bills has been praised by Wrexham’s Assembly Member.

Developed with – the UK’s biggest consumer website – and local authorities, Lesley Griffiths AM believes the new approach yet again highlights the Welsh Government’s drive to make council tax fairer.

For the first time, people who have received a severely mentally impaired (SMI) diagnosis and meet the eligibility criteria will be treated consistently throughout Wales to ensure they receive the same support and discounts no matter where they live.  They will also be able to claim back any council tax discounts, to the point when they were diagnosed.

To access this support the Welsh Government, and Welsh local authorities, have developed a single, simple and easy-to-use form, which people with SMI can use to claim what they are entitled to. The form is now widely available in all local authorities and advice centres across Wales.

Lesley Griffiths AM said: “Council tax discounts for the severely mentally impaired have been available for many years but inadequate promotion and inconsistent policies have meant too many eligible individuals remain unaware of the discounts.”

“By standardising the system at a national level, the Welsh Government has once again demonstrated its clear commitment to making council tax fairer.  In addition to this latest approach, the Welsh Government has extended the Council Tax Reduction Scheme.  Furthermore, at the beginning of this month, legislation was introduced exempting young people up to the age of 25 leaving the care system from paying council tax and to remove imprisonment as a punishment for non-payment of council tax.”