Lord Hanningfield, the leader of Essex Council, on a scheme to help the elderly and hard pressed families get through the recession

I am delighted to announce that up to 30,000 households throughout Essex have started, this week, to receive a £100 one-off direct payment to help them through the recession, thanks to a unique initiative from Essex County Council. The scheme is the first of its kind to be launched by a local authority in the country and to be successfully up and running.

Thousands of elderly residents and families with children in receipt of Council Tax Benefit will be eligible to receive the payment, to help them with their Council Tax bills in the current economic climate.

The first batch of payments will be with residents this week, and it is expected that all eligible residents across the county will receive the £100 payment over the coming months.

This unique scheme of helping residents with their Council Tax bills is just one of several ways that Essex County Council is assisting our county during this difficult economic time.

Other households will benefit from our lowest ever increase in Council
Tax whilst Essex businesses will shortly have the opportunity to
benefit from our Bank of Essex proposals in accessing £50 million of

Receiving this payment will provide a welcome boost for those
residents who may be struggling more than most through this recession.
Those in receipt of partial council tax benefit aged 80 years or over
or are the parent or legal guardian of at least one child under the age of 16 years will be eligible.

We are committed to helping our residents through the recession and
we have worked closely with district and borough councils to identify
all those who are eligible for the payment.


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