A PROPOSED overhaul of council tax policy in Bournemouth could see fines imposed on residents incorrectly claiming the single person discount.

The authority is also considering a range of other financial measures, including cuts to some premiums currently received by people claiming benefits, in a bid to generate £554,000.

It comes after the government devolved responsibility for council tax benefits to local councils in 2013, with Bournemouth’s budget for these cut by £2.2million.

Council leader John Beesley will chair a cabinet meeting on Monday where members will be asked to recommend that the plans go out to public consultation.

These include the introduction of £70 fines for those failing to disclose correct information when applying for the single person discount, currently claimed by 38 per cent of council tax payers in the town.

Legislation to impose such charges already exists, but Bournemouth council has not previously enforced it.

These fines could be added to with a further £280 charge for each subsequent failure to provide the correct information.

The council report explaining the proposal says: “The introduction of a civil penalty scheme would clearly act as a deterrent to anybody committing fraud, as well as an incentive to them promptly informing the council about changes which affect their council tax.”

Another of the proposals would see the removal of the family premium, which has entitled people on housing benefit to £17.45 a week if they have children, for new claims made on or after April 1, 2017.

And backdated claims for council tax related benefits would be reduced to one month from six months, and the maximum council tax support paid will be capped at band C.

Additionally residents previously entitled to less than 50 pence per week in council tax support will not be paid at all.

The report adds: “It is difficult to justify the administrative cost of very small amounts.”

The cabinet meeting is being held at the Town Hall on Monday at 11.15am. The public are welcome to attend.