A WHOPPING £38million in council tax relief has been claimed in East Renfrewshire over the past decade.

Under the Council Tax Reduction scheme, residents who are struggling to make ends meet can save £950 on their annual bill.

Around 4,500 local households are receiving weekly reductions of around £18 each from the Scottish Government initiative, which marks its tenth anniversary in April.

New figures show that more than £3billion has been paid out across Scotland over the last decade from the Council Tax Reduction scheme.

More than 450,000 households – about one in five – get the weekly discount.

Around £82,000 per week, or £4.2m per year, is being claimed in East Renfrewshire alone.

The average annual saving of £950 per year in East Renfrewshire is well above the current national average of £750.

When the scheme was launched in April 2013, local claimants were receiving a combined £75,000 per week in assistance.

Public finance minister Tom Arthur, who represents Barrhead and Neilston at Holyrood as MSP for Renfrewshire South, has urged local people to check if they are eligible for the scheme.

He said: “The cost-of-living crisis is disproportionately affecting poorer households and now, more than ever, it is important that everyone is aware of the help that is available.

“Some people are also eligible for other council tax discounts or sometimes full exemptions, including students, people with disabilities and carers, amongst others.

“I urge people to check their eligibility for council tax reduction and other financial support by visiting our online resources or by contacting the council.”

Visit www.eastrenfrewshire.gov.uk/council-tax-discounts-and-exemptions for more information.