The Liberal Democrats are calling on Government to pick up the bill for council tax payments in order to ease the financial pressure people are facing as a result of the Coronavirus.
According to the Liberal Democrats, their proposals would save residents in Cornwall an average of £443 over the next three months.
The party's proposals include a complete moratorium on payments for all households in Bands A to E, and a 50% reduction in payments across other bands. The Treasury would make up the shortfall in tax revenue with direct payments to councils.
The Liberal Democrats would like to see these measures implemented for a minimum of three months, with an option to extend the scheme as required.
Liberal Democrat Communities, Housing and Local Government spokesperson Tim Farron said:
"Millions of people are facing financial hardship as a direct result of the Coronavirus crisis. More must be done to ease the pressure on families facing financial hardship. Scrapping council tax bills before they kick in again in April is one such step.
"Councils and local authorities provide vital services and, of course, they must be able to continue that work. That's why Liberal Democrats are calling on Government to foot the bill until the current crisis passes and people can start to rebuild.”
Adam Paynter, Liberal Democrat Deputy Leader of Cornwall Council added,
“Cornwall Council always seek to minimise Council Tax payments because we know that many local residents struggle to make ends meet at the best of times.
"However, councils have been hit hard by Government budget cuts over the last 5 years. This year is no different with Cornwall set to lose more than £5million in cash terms with the biggest cash funding increases going to Tory Shires such as Hampshire, Surrey, Hertfordshire and West Sussex, which between them are set to gain over £100million.
"As the Coronavirus crisis escalates, thousands will be unable to pay, and may fall into arrears if steps are not taken to suspend payments. Rapid action is needed, or many more families will be under unbearable financial pressuring in the coming weeks.
“Now it is time for the Government to give something back by allowing people a Council Tax holiday. Local residents, the NHS and Cornwall Council are all pulling together against Coronavirus. We just need a little bit of help.”