Low-income households are going to be asked to pay more towards their council tax to help Kirklees Council balance the books.

The council’s Cabinet wants to change its Council Tax Reduction Scheme as it battles to slash £47 million off its budget before February.

The current scheme subsidises council tax bills for 23,500 residents of working age and 11,000 pension age households and costs £35.5 million.

By asking working age residents to pay a minimum of 25% instead of the current 20%, the council will save around £4.3 million a year.

The scheme for pensioners cannot be changed by the council, only the Government can do that, but changes for working age people could come into effect from April 1 2024. Cabinet is expected to give the go ahead at a meeting on Tuesday December 12.

At an earlier meeting, the council’s Cabinet approved a public consultation on the proposed changes. The consultation ended in October and Cabinet will take into account responses when making their recommendations to full council.

Clr Graham Turner, Cabinet member for finance and regeneration, said: “In these challenging times, that we are facing due to the underfunding of local government and the lack of a fair funding policy, we are committed to protecting our most vulnerable residents whilst ensuring that support is equitable and realistic.

“The decision to change our provision for council tax reduction is not one we have taken lightly, however.

“Our council tax reduction scheme currently provides more support than any other West Yorkshire local authority and, even with the potential changes, will remain better or in line with others.

“The proposed changes could mean that millions of pounds of taxpayers’ money can be redirected to other vital council services and on providing continuing support for our lowest income households.

“There are already provisions in place for those in severe hardship and that support will continue.”