MONEY-SAVING expert Martin Lewis believes up to 100,000 dementia sufferers and their carers could be paying too much Council Tax.
Now Shaw councillor, Howard Sykes, has written to Oldham Council asking what is being done to ensure they are receiving their permitted exemption.
Cllr Sykes, the Council’s Leader of the Opposition, has outlined his concerns to borough treasurer Ann Ryans.
“Anyone with a severe mental impairment, such as dementia, is exempt from paying Council Tax,” explained Cllr Sykes.
“That means people with the condition who live alone do not have to pay any Council Tax and those living with a carer will still receive a 25 per cent reduction in their bill.”
He added: “A recent survey by the website MoneySavingExpert.com has found that up to 100,000 people are wrongly paying Council Tax because they were unaware of these exemptions.
“This situation appears to have been worsened because in a mystery shopping exercise conducted by the website it was found that two thirds of local authorities contacted failed to give callers the correct information about their entitlement.
“Martyn Lewis, the founder of this website, described the situation as a ‘postcode lottery’ and I concur.
“Dementia is an appalling disease and it is both tragic and criminal that sufferers should have to face the additional indignity of paying a charge for which they are not legally liable.”
On his decision to write to the Council, Cllr Sykes said: “This is to ensure applicants and their families or carers receive the right information every time.
“And also that we have 100 per cent take-up, or as near as is possible, of the exemption for those who are eligible.”
If you know of anyone who might qualify for a Council Tax reduction more information and advice can be found online: www.alzheimers.org.uk