Labour councillors have been successful in getting the cabinet to re-think its stance on council tax support.
Councillor Liz Dunn, who is vice-chair of the corporate services and economic growth committee, said she did not agree with the proposal to keep the support for working people suffering financial hardship to a 92 per cent discount on their council tax.
She said: “There is a perfect storm brewing, with the end of furlough and rising food, petrol and energy prices. Leaving the support at 92 per cent is to ignore the current situation.
“In my view, this should never have been lowered from 100 per cent support to 92 per cent and I am pleased that the committee has decided to ask the cabinet to have a re-think.”
Councillor Alex Wallace, who also sits on the committee, said: “The council has unexpected general reserves of around £13.5m and there is enough money to provide the £1.2m or so needed for the 16,000 families who need this level of support.”
The committee was also informed that the government is to grant £2.4m to Northumberland County Council in the form of a housing hardship fund. The details of how this money will be spent are still being worked on.
Leader Scott Dickinson said: “The contribution and determination from members of the Labour group at this very important council committee means the cabinet will have to have a re-think about the level of support it can offer families in severe financial hardship.
“We firmly believe in compassionate and appropriate support for those in our county who are suffering financially. This is exactly what a responsible council should be doing.”