Cornwall Council is increasing the help it provides to the poorest households in the county who are struggling to meet their council tax bills.

Those who receive council tax support can now apply for up to 100 per cent of their council tax shortfall from the council's discretionary exceptional relief and transitional support fund. Previously, applicants could only apply for up to 50 per cent.

Cornwall Council Cabinet member for finance and resources, Alex Folkes, said: “We recognise that some of the least well off in Cornwall are being faced with a council tax bill for the first time. Whilst we all accept that those who can afford to pay towards their bill should be asked to do so, there are undoubtedly some households who will struggle to make any payments.

“Rather than force them to choose between paying their council tax and heating or eating, we have increased the amount that can be awarded in help.

"This help is only available in the short term and will come alongside support from the council and our partners to look at all the options for making positive changes to their personal and financial circumstances.”