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Local Council Tax Support scheme 2021/22

Date of consultation: Monday, December 14, 2020 - Friday, January 22, 2021

Consultation summary

Stroud District Council is asking residents, the major precepting authorities (Gloucestershire County Council, Gloucestershire Police and Crime Commissioner, Parish Councils and key stakeholders, for their views on Council Tax Support and options to update the current scheme.

There are 3,300 working age claimants in the district who receive Council Tax Support. Many are unemployed or unable to work and will receive 100 per cent Council Tax Support meaning that they do not pay any Council Tax. Other recipients receive Council Tax Support based on the income they have.

We currently allow all working age residents to claim up to 100 per cent support towards their Council Tax, depending on their income and household circumstances and have maintained that level of support since 2013, despite the reduction in government funding. Latest Government statistics show that nationally, very few councils continue to provide this support.

 

Further background information

The Welfare Reform Act 2012 abolished Council Tax benefit. Under the Local Government Finance Act 1992 local authorities are required to develop a local Council Tax Support scheme which protects pensioners.

Most of the Gloucestershire districts have adopted the “default scheme” since 2013/14 which basically mirrors the previous Council Tax Benefit scheme and has meant no changes. All the Gloucestershire Districts are currently consulting on a scheme for 2020/21. 

Council Tax Support for pension age customers cannot be reduced.

As the billing authority, we must consult any major precepting authority such as Police and Crime Commissioner and Gloucestershire County Council. We should also consult such other persons that are likely to have an interest in the operation of the scheme such as Citizens Advice and other support agencies.

The consultation is about changes to the Council Tax Support scheme for 2020/21.  We are eager to hear the views of a cross section of people across the Stroud District.

 

Local Council Tax Support scheme 2021/22 consultation

LOCAL COUNCIL TAX SUPPORT SCHEME – 2021/22

Income band 1 is those claimants on passported benefit, Income support (IS), Job seekers allowance (JSA), employment support allowance (ESA) who currently receive 100% Council Tax Support. Adopting this scheme will ensure we continue to protect the most vulnerable of claimants enabling them to still receive that maximum support.

The amount of Council Tax reduction that a working age customer receives is based on the amount of income that they and any partner receive. This will place the customer in an income band, and the band will determine the amount of support that a person is entitled to.

We also need to modernise and make changes to the current scheme so that it works together with the changes that are being made at a national level with the introduction of Universal Credit. People who have made the transition to Universal Credit have their entitlement to this recalculated each month, taking into account any fluctuations in income. As Universal Credit is income for the purposes of council tax support, a change also has to be made to the person’s council tax support. This then results in revised changes to council tax instalments every month which can make budgeting very difficult for those customers.

As more people claim Universal Credit or transfer to it, the need to revise the council tax support scheme and simplify the administration, make the claiming process easier and simpler becomes more pressing.

The table below shows the income bands and the maximum Council Tax entitlement:

 

Income Band

Weekly income (£)

% entitlement

1 (passported)

 

100

2

0.00 – 124.00

80

3

124.01 – 155

80

4

155.01 – 206

60

5

206.01 – 258

40

6

258.01 – 309

20

7

309.01 +

0

 

The council is inviting any views, comments or feedback and this can be done by emailing benefit.services@stroud.gov.uk by Friday 22 January 2021.

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