Consultation: Proposed changes to Council Tax Support

Impact, protection and cost – Council Tax Support Scheme consultation

Consultation closed: Tuesday, 1 November 2022
Consultation opened: Wednesday, 21 September 2022

Impact and protection

We’ve modelled the proposed changes on the residents that currently claim Council Tax Support. For comparison purposes, we have assumed no changes in Council Tax, benefits or income so that we can compare the two support schemes.

Of the 8,548 working-age residents claiming 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 that would receive less support if the new scheme is applied. There are 80 of these households with more than 3 children. 

We want to make sure that nobody who currently receives support is worse off, so we will make sure that anyone who would lose 1p or more per week on the 1 April 2023 under the new scheme (compared with the existing scheme) is protected and they will have their support calculated based on the rules of the existing scheme. As their circumstances change their support will be calculated using the rules of both schemes and, again, if they would lose 1p or more per week under the new scheme their support will continue to be calculated based on the rules of the existing scheme. If they would receive the same or more support under the new scheme they will have their support calculated based on the rules of the new scheme.  

Once you move onto the new scheme you will stay on the new scheme.

If your entitlement stops (entitlement is ended or assessed at 0.00 per week) and you reclaim it at a later date, you will receive support in line with the new scheme.

All new claims received on or after 1 April 2023 will be calculated in line with the new scheme.

Although the changes were not specifically designed to expand eligibility to Council Tax Support, as a consequence of simplifying the system and lifting the 75% maximum limit and removing reductions based on non-dependant adults there might be some people who previously weren’t eligible for support who might be under the new scheme.

To understand more about how this new scheme might affect residents we have included some examples in the appendix. View or download the consultation document, including appendices (PDF)

Cost of the new scheme

Although the changes to the scheme will cost us more initially, overall the proposed scheme will be cost neutral for at least 3 years, based on a similar make-up of claims.

Most earning/income changes under the new scheme won’t trigger a change in Council Tax Support and those that do can be automated – reducing manual intervention, speeding up processing times and reducing resource requirements. There will also be reduced financial costs from printing and posting revised bills, a reduced level of contact from customers seeking explanations and less time spent chasing small debts.