Low income families in Wandsworth are to be protected from higher council tax bills.

The council has finalised its response to a nationwide changes to benefit rules and decided to cushion the impact of the changes on the borough’s poorest households.

The decision means low income households will be spared a £580,000 tax increase from April.

Instead the council will pick up the cost of maintaining the current system.

Finance spokesman Cllr Guy Senior said: “In many other parts of the country, people on low incomes will soon find themselves having to pay council tax for the first time.

“While the sums involved may be modest, to many households this will be an added burden they will struggle to afford.

“Here in Wandsworth, we want to do what we can to protect the low income families who are already struggling to pay their bills.

“With our long record as a low tax authority we do not wish to start increasing the tax burden for those least able to afford it.

“Council tax bills in Wandsworth are the lowest in the country. The borough’s Band D bill this financial year is £682, compared to a London average of more than £1,300."