HEFTY fines could be imposed on residents who are falsely claiming council tax discounts in the borough.
Solihull Council is urging locals that claim a single occupancy discount but now have a second adult on board to call them as part of their ‘information amnesty’.
From January onwards, new data matching technology will be used to carry out a review of the 29,000 households that claim the discount to try and weed out those that do have two adults living at a property and should be paying the full rate.
The review is part of a move to ensure fairness to those correctly claiming the discount and to enable the best possible services for residents.
It’s also aimed at helping those who may be entitled to other benefits or discounts that they are not aware of.
Anyone claiming the discount who fails to notify Solihull Council about changes before the end of the year may face a fine of up to £280 and prosecution under the Theft Act 1968 if caught.
Councillor Ken Hawkins, cabinet member for resources, pictured, said: “We understand that people’s circumstances change and they may have forgotten to tell us that they are no longer the only adult in their home. If they tell us now they won’t face prosecution or a fine.
“We all have to pay for public services and it’s only right that we all pay what we should and not pass the burden onto neighbours.”
Residents can call 0121 704 8100 or on line at www.solihull.gov.uk/benefits/spd.htm to let the council know of any changes.