New war on council tax cheats in East Hampshire

A police car parked outside Catherine House in Stanhope Road, Portsmouth, earlier tonight. Picture: Byron Melton

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A CAMPAIGN has begun to target people who commit council tax fraud which costs the council £200,000 a year.

East Hampshire District Council is cracking down on people who illegally claim single person discounts on their council tax when they do not live alone.

The authority is comparing a network of databases to identify cases where it appears that more than one adult is living at an address but a single occupancy discount is being claimed.

There are nearly 49,000 properties in the district – and around 13,700 of them receive single person occupancy discount.

It is estimated that around four per cent wrongly receive the discount – costing the council in the region of £200,000 in fraudulently paid claims a year.

Revenue manager Brian Wood, said: ‘Most council tax discounts are being claimed honestly and legitimately, but there are times where a household’s circumstances can change and people forget to tell us that they are no longer entitled to the discount.’