RESIDENTS are being encouraged to give their thoughts on Thurrock's Council Tax Support Scheme.

The scheme replaced Council Tax Benefit in April 2013.

In Thurrock the current scheme is similar to how council tax benefit used to be calculated, but there are differences.

The first £25 of earned income is not be taken into account when calculating levels of council tax support, the maximum capital limit is set at £6,000, meaning anyone who has savings over £6,000 may not receive support paying their Council Tax.

Second adult rebate is not awarded for working age claimants, for whom the maximum support allowed will be 75 per cent of the full Council Tax bill whatever the banding of the property.

Child Benefit and Child Maintenance received will not be included as income in the calculation of Council Tax Support.

Military compensation payments, including War Disablement pensions, War Widow’s pensions and Armed Forces Compensation Scheme payments are not included in the calculation of Council Tax Support.

Many of the proposed conditions remain unchanged from last year’s scheme, but the council – like others around the country – is considering whether or not to introduce a local residency requirement, although similar requirements have been challenged in the courts.

Cllr Victoria Holloway, portfolio holder for central services, said: “The government changed council tax benefits last year, insisting local councils do their own instead of having a standard scheme across the country.

“Thurrock, like other councils, consulted and introduced our own local scheme for the current year – now we’re looking at next year and we believe the introduction of a residency requirement to the scheme will help protect local people.

“Doing away with national council tax benefits and forcing councils to come up with their own individual schemes means it is all the more important people let us know what they think of our proposals before we introduce them for the 2015 tax bills.”

The consultation launched on Monday, August 4 and can be completed via the council’s website.