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Minister highlights Council Tax support for Armed Forces in Wales

Public Services Minister Leighton Andrews AM yesterday set out the benefits made possible by the package of support available to serving and ex-service personnel in Wales.

One element of the package to be highlighted is the Council Tax Reduction Scheme. This was introduced in Wales in April 2013, following the abolition of Council Tax Benefit by the UK Government.

During a debate in the Senedd this afternoon, the Minister is expected to tell Assembly Members while the immediate needs of our returning service men and women are apparent, others may not emerge for years to come.

Leighton Andrews will say:

“We owe our Armed Forces, past and present, a debt of gratitude and we must continue to provide them with the support they require.”

“Our revised Package of Support for the Armed Forces community was launched last year, and provides commitments across the range of Welsh Government departments including health, education and housing. 

“We need to ensure our services continue to respond to the changing needs of the Armed Forces community.”

The Minister will tell Members:

“Since their introduction, the Welsh Government has maintained full entitlements for all those eligible for a reduction, and has committed to doing so for a further two years, until 2016-17. This includes serving members of the armed forces and ex-service personnel, and their families. 

“In addition to us maintaining full entitlements, all Local Authorities in Wales have disregarded War Disablement Pensions and War Widow’s Pensions when means-testing for Council Tax Reduction Scheme support and are continuing to do so for 2014-15. 

“In contrast each English Local Authority has been required to design its own scheme.  It is estimated just 45 continue to maintain full entitlements in 2014-15.”

The Welsh Government is also to promote the benefits of the Ministry of Defence’s existing Defence Privilege Card in Wales. Leighton Andrews will launch a campaign in the coming weeks.

Related Links

Armed forces and veterans
 
Council Tax
 
 
Channel website: http://gov.wales

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