Have your say on Council Tax Support
In 2013, following widespread consultation, we introduced a new Local Council Tax Support (LCTS) Scheme. Each year we have reviewed and updated the scheme following your feedback and we are again this year asking for you to have your say.
Last year some of you said that you would like more information on the feedback you provided, so in response to this we have included more detailed explanation of the changes made. We are also asking for further feedback on the information that would help you in years to come.
Lead Councillor for Finance, Commercial Asset Management and Procurement Tim Anderson, explains: "We want to find out what residents think about our (LCTS) scheme. There are a number of proposed changes to the 2021- 22 scheme. Firstly, an increase in personal allowances which are the basic amount that a specific type of household is expected to need each week - for example a family, couple or single person. The allowance is based on government welfare allowances for Housing Benefit which provides help with rent. This is based on a single person over 25 needing £74.35 per week and a couple £116.80. There are extra allowances available for children.
"Secondly, an increase in premiums which provides extra money for being a carer or for those that have a disability. Finally, an increase in Non-Dependant Deductions which is the contribution children aged 18 or over are expected to contribute to the household in which they live. Non-Dependant deductions are banded so that someone with a very low income pays a smaller contribution to the household each week. The contributions range from £4.05 for someone who is unemployed to £12.50 for someone earning around £24,000 a year. In simple terms the personal allowances, premiums and non-dependant deductions create an income allowance which is compared to income, to determine the level of help that is to be given. Increasing all of these will make sure that the help given will not be reduced due to inflation."
Around 62% of current working age Local Council Tax Support recipients have 100% of their Council Tax paid. Just over 90% have 50% or more of their Council Tax paid. Our scheme remains one of very few that does not require everyone to pay something regardless of their circumstances.
There is also a proposal to remove the Band E restriction for 2021 only. Currently the maximum award that a claimant living in a Band E property can receive is capped at the Band D charge. Removing the cap will enable us to provide taxpayers with more help. We anticipate that more help may be needed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Only 6% of recipients are currently in a band E property.
Alongside the working age Local Council Tax Support Scheme, we also have a Hardship Fund to provide help for those affected by our scheme rules. Actual income and expenditure are reviewed when making awards from this fund. The fund is not intended for long term support but does ensure that those who are most in need can receive help with their Council Tax.
We would like to hear your views on the proposed changes for 2021-22. We would also like to find out if you have any suggestions to reduce, maintain or increase the level of support we offer in the future. We want to make sure that our scheme remains fair, simple and cost efficient, as well as protecting the most vulnerable members of our community.
The consultation will close at 5pm on Thursday 15 October. Please go to for the link to the survey and further information.
A final decision on the scheme will be made by the Council on 8 December.
Published on Thursday 24 September.