NEW Forest residents who receive council tax benefit will have to pay a minimum of 8.5 per cent council tax from April.

Due to a new support scheme, the council is making changes for those of a working age following a 10 per cent cut in government funding.

Pensioners and other vulnerable groups will be protected.

Cllr Colin Wise, New Forest District Council’s portfolio holder for finance and efficiency said: “Last year we invited New Forest residents to have their say and consulted on various options.

“Thank you to everyone that took part – all the views and comments we received were fed into a working group established to devise the new local support scheme.

“The new rules we have approved ensure everyone makes a contribution and working age applicants are encouraged to find work.”