Council Tax Reduction Scheme Consultation 2018

Closed 18 Nov 2018

Opened 21 Sep 2018

Overview

On 1st April 2013 Council Tax Benefit was replaced by a localised Council Tax Reduction Scheme in all local authorities. This change was introduced by the Local Government Finance Act 2012 (the Act), which aimed to provide local authorities with more autonomy and flexibility to spend public money. The Act also enabled local authorities in England to design their own Council Tax Reduction Scheme as it was felt they would be better suited to develop a scheme to reflect the needs of the community.

In September 2017 the retail price index increase was 3%, this is the month that the government sets its state pension and benefit increases for the following year. However, the government has also stated that specific welfare benefits would not be increased. So, some welfare benefit income rates have remained unchanged for 2018/19, such as job seekers allowance, income support and child benefit.

For the financial year 2018/19 the Council set an increase in the general council tax of 1.99% and the adult social care precept by 2%.

Why We Are Consulting

The Council is required to consult each time it proposes a revision to the Council Tax Reduction Scheme. It is proposed that the scheme rules should provide for an annual inflationary increase to be applied to the Council Tax Reduction Scheme. In addition, that the inflation increase is linked to the annual September retail price index increase aligning it to the month that the government sets its state pension and benefit increases for the following year.

However, this is to a maximum upper limit of a 5% inflation increase.  With any higher amount being referred back to members of the Housing, Economy and Business Committee for decision, as part of the annual review of the scheme.

If this proposal is agreed, the next annual inflation increase would be applied in April 2020 following September 2019 retail price increase.

This consultation is NOT about increasing Council Tax. It is about increasing Council Tax Reduction in line with inflation and aimed to better support low income households. 

The proposed changes in this consultation detailed below will not affect people of state pension credit age. Pensioners will continue to be assessed under the Council’s Scheme for Pensioners.

This consultation is not about changing the Single Person's Discount.

Please note that the proposed change will not result in savings for the council.

The Council welcomes your views on the options outlined in this consultation.

The survey should take about 10 minutes to complete. Responses to the questionnaire are anonymous and will not be passed on to third parties.

The consultation is will remain open until 18 November 2018.

Areas

  • All Areas

Audiences

  • All residents

Interests

  • Spending