Central Bedfordshire Council news and press releases

Central Bedfordshire Council proposes to increase support to the vulnerable – have your say

Wednesday, 21 September 2022

We are proposing to make changes to our Council Tax Support Scheme which will increase support available to the most vulnerable residents at a time when living costs are rising.

The Council Tax Support Scheme sets out how working age residents on low incomes, disabled people and carers can claim discounts on their Council Tax in Central Bedfordshire.

The current Scheme is complicated for residents to understand and work out what they are eligible for. It also means any change in their income however small means their Council Tax Support has to be recalculated.

Councillor David Shelvey, Executive Member for Corporate Resources, said:

The changes to the Scheme will see thousands of our most vulnerable residents on low incomes receive more support with their Council Tax, some won’t have to pay any Council Tax under the new Scheme.

The Scheme will continue to be means tested but instead of looking at the precise income of a household to make the calculation Council Tax Support, the new scheme we will use five income bands.

Councillor Shelvey went on to explain:

At a time when those on low incomes are worried about the rising cost of living, we wanted to ensure the changes to simplify the Scheme continued to support the most vulnerable residents in our communities and support those who can work to do so. The flexibility around using income bands does this - it means residents can earn a bit more and their Council Tax Support will not change unless they move between the bands. It also provides greater certainty to residents about what they need to pay which is incredibly important at a time when budgeting is becoming harder for those on low incomes.

There are other changes to the Scheme that benefit disabled people and carers.

You can read about the proposed changes and give your feedback online. Paper copies are also available at Central Bedfordshire libraries, or you can call the Council on 0300 300 8301 and they will send you a paper copy.

The consultation runs from 21 September to 1 November 2022.