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Council Tax Benefits: Armed Forces

Volume 464: debated on Monday 15 October 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if she will amend the regulations on mandatory council tax discounts to give the spouses or partners of members of the armed forces a single person discount while their partner is away on active service overseas. (155704)

My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Defence announced on 25 September 2007 that armed forces personnel deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan who pay council tax, will receive a flat-rate, tax free payment of £140 for a six month tour of duty. The payment is worth around 25 per cent. of the average council tax bill for six months.

The Ministry of Defence intends to widen the scheme to all those deployed on operations and we will continue to liaise with the Ministry of Defence on the feasibility, in the longer term, of a statutory discount scheme.