Council Tax Support scheme consultation 2020/21

Following the introduction of Council Tax Support in 2013, the council decided that everyone of working age should be expected to pay something towards their council tax bill. In order to introduce this change for residents as gradually as possible, the council initially capped the level of minimum liability to 8.5 percent for those of working age, increasing it to 19 percent in 2014/15 and 25 percent in 2016/17 where it currently remains. . 
This scheme does not apply to retirement age pensioners who continue to receive the same level of assistance they would have received had the national Council Tax Benefit scheme continued. 

The council is consulting on the proposal to maintain the current level of assistance for 2020/21 for working-age people. This would mean retaining help at 75 percent of council tax liability after any other discounts or exemptions. 

If support levels were to be increased for 2020/21, there would be a financial cost to the council which would have to be met elsewhere and could mean: 

•    raising council tax *; or
•    reducing council services and using compensatory savings to fund Council Tax Support; or 
•    using the council’s one-off reserves, which would not resolve the funding requirement in the long term; or
•    a combination of the three. 
* In recent years the Government has restricted the level by which Local Authorities can increase council tax without holding a referendum.

The council is seeking resident’s views on the level of assistance they would like to see provided in 2020/21.  

The council will continue to uprate benefit levels in line with those adopted in respect of Housing Benefit, this includes the level of non-dependent deductions. The scheme is subject to revision in order to comply with any legislative changes introduced into the welfare system.