Jackie Baillie, MSP for Dumbarton urges local council to change current council tax months.

She contacted both West Dunbartonshire Council and Argyll and Bute Council and asked them to change the current council tax break months from February and March to April and May.

This would be done to ensure that those currently feeling the financial strain caused by the Covid-19 pandemic would have the worry of paying council tax in April and May removed.

Jackie Baillie MSP said: “This is an incredibly worrying and uncertain time for all of us. Many people are experiencing significant loss of income and are relying on personal savings and government funded payments to stay afloat.

Many local residents have either been forced to not work because of temporary business closures or have had their working hours severely reduced. This has left them with a much smaller income than usual.

Ms. Baillie thinks this decision will help the local community save their pennies for other essentials during the lockdown.

She added: ““I would encourage anyone who believes that paying council tax in April and May would leave them at a severe economic disadvantage to contact your local authority. They are there to help make this time more manageable for you. Some may even be eligible for council tax reduction benefit.

The West Dunbartonshire Council have since responded to this issue.

They said: “If anyone is struggling with their Council Tax payments, we would encourage them to contact our Council Tax section on 01389 737444.

We continue to work with all residents facing financial difficulty, and offer support to help alleviate any hardship through our Working4U service, including income maximisation, debt management and access to employment.”

Argyll and Bute and West Dunbartonshire Councils responded to Jackie Baillie’s requests for a change to the council tax year. Both councils agreed to consider any change to payments on a case by case basis. They have encouraged anyone who believes they will not be able to pay their council tax for April and May to contact the local authority directly.