HUNDREDS of thousands of pounds have been injected into a borough council in a bid to help the most vulnerable people amid the coronavirus crisis.

A cash boost of nearly £600,000 has been given to Test Valley Borough Council (TVBC) by the Government in an effort to help residents with the lowest incomes.

This comes as the Government allocated £500 million nationally, stressing the majority of the hardship fund should be used to reduce council tax bills

Now the authority can reveal almost 2,000 people across the borough have had up to £300 slashed off their 2020/21 council tax bill.

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As a result, more than 1,200 households will not have to pay any council tax this year as the contribution will reduce their bill to zero.

A further 500 households will also see a significant reduction in their bills.

Romsey Advertiser: Cllr Phil NorthCllr Phil North

Leader of TVBC, councillor Phil North, said: “Millions have felt the financial impact of coronavirus and resulting lockdown, which is why it is more important than ever before that we seek to protect the most vulnerable members of our community.

“It is fantastic that the government has provided this funding for local authorities and our staff are working incredibly hard to pass it on as quickly as possible.”

As a minimum, council tax bills can be reduced by £150 for working-age customers who receive council tax support, but TVBC decided to double that figure to £300.

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The discount has been applied automatically, so those eligible do not have to apply.

The council is also issuing revised bills to all those affected.

More information about Test Valley’s council tax support scheme can be found at www.testvalley.gov.uk.