HUNDREDS of Blackburn with Darwen residents will have to pay around £200 council tax for the first time from April 1.

The new council tax benefit scheme being introduced by the borough will mean all but pensioners receiving the benefit and the most vulnerable will pay at least one-fifth of the full bill.

This means many of those on full discount for the council tax will pay 20 per cent for the first time. The cost of council tax for a Band A property, the lowest band, is £986.95.

All other recipients of the council tax benefit, who are not pensioners or in specific vulnerable groups, will pay more of the bill.

The change follows the government’s abolition of the national Council Tax Benefit scheme which required Blackburn with Darwen borough to introduce its own scheme which is due for approval on January 31.

The council is also proposing to remove some discounts enjoyed by owners of second and empty homes.

Councillor Andy Kay, executive member for resources, said: “The stark reality is that some people will have to pay more towards their council tax.”