Council tax questions regarding coronavirus

Hardship fund

In March 2020, we were allocated funds by the government to deliver hardship relief to council tax payers due to the coronavirus.

If you are experiencing difficulties in paying your council tax you can apply for support.

Council tax reduction

You can apply for a council tax reduction to help with your council tax bill.

  • If you are of working age and now on a low income you should make a claim for Universal Credit if you require help with your rent payments.
  • We would strongly advise you to continue to pay your council tax if you possibly can. However, we would urge any resident who is expecting to have difficulties in making their council tax payments to let us know so we can work through issues together in a sensible and practical way.

How council tax is being used during the pandemic

Your Council Tax bill is made up of a number of components. In addition to the amount spent by Buckinghamshire Council the bill also includes a precept for the police, fire service and, for many, for their local town or parish council. See how the bill is divided and how the Council spends the money.

We are continuing to deliver as many services as possible and provide additional support for the most vulnerable in our community. We are constantly reviewing our services in light of government guidance and staff availability.

  • Our Adult Social Care services support the most vulnerable members of our community, largely supporting those in old age and adults with disabilities. In 2020/21 our spending on services for this group is likely to exceed £148m (approximately 38.7% of our revenue budget). A proportion of this funding is ring-fenced and can only be spent on these services.
  • Our Children’s services look after children and families to keep them safe, supported and improve their health and wellbeing. In 2020/21 our spending on these services will be in the region of £77 (approximately 20% of our revenue budget)
  • We are focussed on encouraging everyone living and working in Bucks to remain careful and follow national guideline on keeping safe. We will remain focused on working with those people in ‘shielded’ groups – people with long-term health issues and/or who are over 70 to make sure we can meet the increased and different needs of our residents and businesses during this recovery and return to a new kind of 'normal'.

The current status of service deliver can be viewed on our service update page.

Alongside the impact of the economic crisis, our decision to support people in the community will see our income from other sources fall.

  • More people are likely to qualify for council tax reduction;
  • Business Rates income is likely to fall – and this will affect the council income stream as it benefits from ‘business rates retention’

While it is hoped that the government will assist councils against additional expenditure and lost income this is by no means certain. We urge people who can pay their council tax to continue to do so and for those with difficulties in paying to contact their local office to discuss the support that might be available to them.