Council Tax Support 2017-18
Council Tax Support is a means tested benefit to help people on low incomes with their Council Tax. The scheme is part funded by the government, and part funded by the Council.
The scheme is reviewed every year. It has remained largely unchanged since 2013. Find out more about our current Council Tax Support scheme.
The Council has a difficult financial situation to manage over the coming years, and will have to make savings. Part of these savings could come from changes to the Council Tax Support scheme.
From April 2017 we are proposing to make two changes to the scheme. These proposals only affect working age households. Pensioners have their own Council Tax Support scheme which is set by the government. We cannot make changes to the pensioner's Council Tax Support scheme.
We aim to make sure that any changes mean that the scheme remains fair to all residents of the borough.
We would like your views on these proposals, whether you receive Council Tax Support or not.
The Council Tax Support scheme is reviewed every year, and any changes made in April 2017, will be looked at again before April 2018.
Proposal 1: everyone should have to pay something towards their Council Tax
We are proposing that from April 2017 all working age households, who receive Council Tax Support, will be expected to pay the first 20% of their Council Tax regardless of their income.
If a household currently in receipt of Council Tax Support already pays something towards their Council Tax, then the extra 20% will be added to this figure.
We would look to protect the most vulnerable households with an exceptional hardship scheme.
We believe this proposal is a fair one because:
- everyone shares the increase
- the amount of the contribution is proportional to the size of the household and the value of the property. A single person living in a small property for example will pay less than a family living in a larger property
- the extra contributions will be used to provide services for all residents of the borough. Find out more about the services funded by Council Tax payments.
|Council Tax Band||One adult resident||Two or more adults resident|
If you live in a Band C or above property, and your Council Tax Support is already restricted to the value of a Band B property under the current scheme, then the 20% contribution will be based on the amount for a Band B property.
Proposal 2: stop awarding some allowances for families who have more than two children
Council Tax Support is worked out by comparing a household's income to a financial needs allowance figure. Part of the needs allowance figure is based on the number of children in the household.
From April 2017 we are proposing to cap the needs allowance at two children for:
- households which currently contain two or more children and who have a third or subsequent child after 1 April 2017
- any new claims for Council Tax Support made after 1 April 2017 from households with more than two children.
This proposal will not affect:
- households already claiming Council Tax Support, which contain more than two children, unless another child is born
- multiple births after 1 April 2017 (and the household is not already at their maximum of two children)
- adopted children
- were households merge
- households where the claimant or their partner is a pensioner
We are considering this proposal because similar changes will be made to Tax Credits and Universal Credit.
Under the current scheme an increase in a household's Tax Credits, on the birth of a third child, is offset by the extra needs allowance in their Council Tax Support. After April 2017, if a household's Tax Credits do not alter on the birth of a third child and we continue to award extra needs allowances, then their Council Tax Support entitlement would increase considerably.
The aim of this proposal is to ensure that people affected by the changes to Tax Credits and Universal Credit continue to receive a similar amount of Council Tax Support.
Have your say on our proposals
The consultation on these proposals ended on 15 November 2016. Your views are now being considered. A decision will be made by the start of December 2016, as to whether the Council Tax Support scheme will change in 2017.