Funding for vulnerable Islanders has been reinstated — a month after it was taken away.

The £50,000 'Exceptional Hardship Fund' was scrapped by the Isle of Wight Council in January, to increase the discount on council tax bills for Islanders on low incomes.

Tonight (Wednesday), Cllr Joe Lever proposed the reinstatement of the fund because he feared the previous decision was "made in haste" and "caused undue stress to a number of households on the Island".

Councillors at the budget meeting at County Hall have unanimously supported the decision to reinstate the exceptional hardship fund.

The council's chief financial officer, Chris Ward, said the money has already been included in all the budgets being discussed tonight.

The increased council tax support allows a 75 per cent discount on council tax bills for those most in need.

It is for those eligible for the council tax support scheme and who are facing additional "genuine hardship".

Cllr Karl Love called it a backstop for Islanders who have little or no money, and said removing it meant residents would have to pick up much larger bills for the sake of a small sum of council money.

In the last financial year, 2022/23, the authority went over its allocated £50,000 hardship fund budget  – with 282 successful applications amounting to £54,747.

Between April and December 2023, 271 applicants had come forward with only 150 of those a success and equalling a payout from the council of £44,292.