Portsmouth residents now face £75 fine if they don’t tell council about change in living arrangements

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PLANS to fine residents who try to avoid paying the right amount of council tax have been approved.

National rules say that someone living on their own is entitled to a council tax discount.

But if another person moves in with them, the discount no longer applies. Residents need to tell councils about changes within 29 days – but there has been no punishment if people don’t inform the authority. Portsmouth City Council Tory resources member Lee Mason has agreed residents will be fined £75 if they don’t comply with the rules, due to pressures on office staff to chase people up. This would be in addition to any prosecution for evading paying the tax itself.

Sixty-nine per cent of residents in a survey supported the move.