About our Council Tax Support Scheme consultation
Consultation closed: Tuesday, 1 November 2022
Consultation opened: Wednesday, 21 September 2022
We are proposing to change our Council Tax Support Scheme. The Council Tax Support Scheme is the way we currently help residents on a low income to pay their Council Tax.
The level of discount a working-age resident is entitled to is means-tested, which means it is based on the precise income of the household. It’s also based on a range of other factors which makes it very complicated to calculate the level of support for each applicant.
We are proposing to simplify the scheme by introducing income bands rather than looking at precise household income to calculate the support. There are some other changes too. This will provide more financial support to thousands of vulnerable residents.
The current scheme is complicated for residents to understand and work out what they are eligible for. It is also a significant administrative burden for us to manage. It's calculated based on precise income so any change in income, however small, triggers a change in Council Tax Support. This means we have to manually administer 4,000 to 6,000 changes per month. A resident could receive around 10 changes a year in their Council Tax bill, which creates uncertainty for those on low incomes.
By simplifying the scheme, we will:
- make it easier for residents to understand
- have fewer changes
- automate some of the manual administration burdens
Currently, 8,548 working-age residents claim Council Tax Support. We calculate that 3,590 (42%) of these will receive more financial support through the new scheme. At a time when the cost of living is rising, this extra support to the most vulnerable is much needed.
Under the new scheme, there will be approximately 274 residents, who claim Council Tax Support, who would receive less.
We want to make sure that nobody who currently receives support is worse off, so we will make sure they are protected from any potential loss in support.
Council Tax Support for pensioners is worked out using a national reduction scheme and pensioners can get up to 100% of their Council Tax reduced (i.e. pay nothing). The scheme for pensioners is not changing.
You can get a 25% single-person discount if you live alone, and there are also discounts if other adults in your home are disregarded for Council Tax purposes (i.e. students). These discounts are not changing.