Luton Council has sent a letter to 4,000 residents suggesting they may be guilty of fraud or theft and is refusing residents’ requests for details of the evidence. The letter was addressed to people claiming single person discount on their Council Tax and Liberal Democrat councillors are complaining that the Council is refusing to explain what evidence they have for the suggestion.
Residents who live alone are entitled to a 25% discount on their Council Tax and the letter has been sent to around 4,000 people who have claimed the discount.
The letter says the Council has ‘carried out a number of checks in conjunction with an external agency and, as a result, there is evidence to suggest that there may be, or may have been, one or more additional undeclared adult residents living at your address.’
It asks the recipients to contact the Town Hall within 14 days or risk losing their discount then goes on to point out that if they knowingly supply false information they may be prosecuted for Fraud or Theft and that this could result in a criminal record.
“Residents who have contacted me are being told they should contact Experian, the credit reference agency who supplied the Council with the information,” says Liberal Democrat councillor David Franks.
“This is really not an acceptable response. It leaves honest people who pay their taxes accused by the Council of being criminals and denies them access to the evidence. Law abiding citizens should not be called upon to prove their innocence.”