1. ITV Report

Could you be exempt from paying thousands in council tax? Wales highlights discounts for mentally impaired


People in Wales could be owed thousands of pounds in council tax rebates because of confusion surrounding a complicated system and 'misinformation.'

The Welsh Government wants to make it easier for those who are classed as being severely mentally impaired, including sufferers of Alzheimer's, Parkinson's disease and stoke victims, to access the council tax discounts they are already entitled to.

Martin Lewis has been campaigning for changes since 2016. Credit: ITV

Campaigners argue that people who qualify for the support could be missing out on about £400 a year due to the different approaches taken by local authorities and council staff giving out incorrect information.

The Welsh Government has now become the first to standardise information it gives about the discounts and to offer a single application form across Wales.

Campaign website MoneySavingExpert was behind the calls to change the system in Wales, which will also see people being able to backdate their rebate to the date they were diagnosed. They are now calling for similar changes across Britain.

Many of the most vulnerable within our society, those who are living with a 'severe mental impairment', have been eligible for a council tax discount for years, but sadly, across Britain they have rarely been about told it, meaning they've missed out on money that could've transformed their quality of life.

Most councils haven't helped spread the word, and disgracefully have often hindered people claiming by giving out misinformation. Some staff in our cold-calling exercise even said the discount doesn't exist, meaning there are huge differences in take-up across the country. That simply isn't right.

– Martin Lewis, Money Saving Expert

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Rebecca Evans AM is backing the new system. Credit: ITV CYMRU WALES

I am pleased the Welsh Government is leading the way with this new approach, helping some of the most vulnerable people access the discounts and support they are entitled to, and I'm very grateful to MoneySavingExpert and Martin Lewis for bringing this issue to our attention and working with us to address it.

We will continue to work closely with local authorities and the WLGA (Welsh Local Government Association) to encourage consistency in approaches to administering discounts and exemptions for everyone who is eligible.

– Rebecca Evans AM, Finance Minister

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The Welsh Government says they want to make council tax fairer so that the burden is not placed on those least able to pay.