A CONSULTATION looking at how Colchester Council hands out council tax bill reductions to low paid residents has been launched.

Around 8,000 working age Colchester residents get at least an 80 per cent deduction as part of the Local Council Tax Support scheme.

The authority has now launched a consultation proposing to bill those who pay nothing £1 a week to cover administration costs from April 2015.

A £10 a week deduction for residents who live with adults who are not their partner or a tenant is to be increased to £11.

Also in the pipeline is a plan to disregard child maintenance when calculating support.

One alternative is to simply make all residents who pay 20 per cent of their council tax bills fork out 30 per cent from next year.

Pensioners on low income are protected by national laws and do not have to pay any council tax.

Paul Smith, councillor responsible for resources, said: “Supporting Colchester’s most vulnerable residents while maintaining efficient service delivery is a key priority for the council.”

The consultation is available by going to www.colchester.gov.uk/lcts, calling 01206 282300 or visiting Colchester’s central library.

A decision will be made by the end of 2014.