FINANCE bosses at the Isle of Wight Council are to launch a crackdown on residents who may be claiming single person council tax discounts they are not entitled to.
The authority is due to begin a comprehensive review to check that Islanders who benefit from a 25 per cent 'single occupancy’ reduction on their bills can claim the discount.
The council has appointed Capita Local Government Services to carry out the review of 23,400 council tax payers from mid-September.
Capita will work with Equifax, the credit reference agency, using data matching technology to identify where people may be claiming discounts they are not entitled to.
The checks form part of the council’s measures to prevent and detect fraud and protect the public purse.
It follows a similar project carried out in 2010/11 which identified around £100,000 worth of incorrect discounts being claimed.
Cabinet member for resources, Cllr Jonathan Gilbey, said: "Single person discount is an entitlement that the council is keen to ensure is claimed by council tax payers who are genuinely entitled, especially in these trying economic times.
"However, council taxpayers who claim the discount improperly place an unnecessary burden on the very real needs of some residents."
Any council tax payers currently receiving a discount which they feel may not be correct are urged to contact the council on 01983 823901 before the full review begins.
More information about council tax and any entitlement to a reduction can be found at www.iwight.com