A record low number of Northumberland pensioners received council tax support in the lead up to Christmas, new figures show.

Across England, fewer pensioners than ever received support to reduce their council tax bills, leading to eligible people missing out on the available financial support.

The Independent Age charity said the system is too difficult to navigate, and called on the Government and local authorities to create a simpler process, so everyone entitled to the support could easily get it.

Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities figures show 9,752 pensioners in Northumberland received council tax support in the three months to December 2023 – down from 9,849 the same time the year before and the lowest number since records began in 2015.