Proposed changes to council tax support system

SupportWe’re making changes to our council tax support (CTS) scheme to make things easier for residents.

The CTS scheme is designed to help customers with low incomes by reducing their council tax payments by up to 80 per cent.

The scheme is reviewed every year and we think that it needs to change for 2020/21.

This is because we have found that more customers are experiencing frequent changes of income which, at the moment, mean we need to keep reassessing their council tax support.

This can be confusing and continually changing the level of council tax support makes household budgeting more difficult.

We’re hoping to bring in a banded system that allows for changes of income without having to constantly adjust the level of council tax support.

It is possible that the level of council tax support that a household currently receives might change, but we have carried out a lot of modelling to focus on the customers who need the support the most to make sure that they do not lose out.

As part of the proposals, we will make sure:

• Nobody in the lowest income bands will lose their current level of council tax support
• The council tax exceptional hardship policy will be revised to allow anyone who might have dropped out of eligibility for CTS to apply
• The new scheme will mean fewer adjustments for customers making household budgeting less complicated
• That there is no reduction in the council’s overall budget for CTS. We will continue to provide the same level of support to financially vulnerable customers
• We will continue to review and tweak the scheme each year but we won’t change it substantially unless there is a significant change in the national welfare provisions

These proposed changes to the council tax support scheme are part of the Council’s pledge to better support residents struggling with Universal Credit.

The scheme will be out for consultation until 5 October 2019 and you can read more about the detail of the proposals and provide your feedback using this link to the online survey.

If you are not able to use the online survey, a hard copy of the survey is available on request at your local library or 1st Stop Shop.