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Decision details

Council Tax Support Scheme 2020/2021 (EX/19/55)

Decision Maker: Executive

Decision status: For Determination

Is Key decision?: Yes

Is subject to call in?: No

Decisions:

Decision that:

the consultation responses in respect of the proposed banded Council Tax Support Scheme for working age universal credit claimants as set out in section 6 and appendices 2-4, be noted.

Full Council be recommended to approve the proposed banded Council Tax Support Scheme for working age universal credit claimants as described in this report and in more detail in Appendix 1.

Full Council be recommended to approve the continuation of the current Council Tax Support Scheme for all other working age claimants.

 

Reasons for the Decision

 

The local Council Tax Support Scheme must be approved by the Council by the end of January each year in advance of the financial year.

The Executive approved that consultation on the proposed banded scheme be undertaken between Mid-August and the end of November and included public consultation via various media.  In July, the Executive considered a proposed banded scheme for council tax support claimants who are in receipt of Universal Credit, EX/19/39.

The Executive also agreed that a discretionary fund should be set aside to assist those adversely affected by this proposed change and agreed that this fund should be £100,000 an increase on the original proposal of £62,000 (EX/19/39 para 2.9). The purpose of the fund would be to provide transitional protection to anyone who is worse off after transitioning from the current CTS scheme.

The feedback from the consultation has been broadly positive and the Executive are requested to consider this feedback as set out in this report and recommend the proposed banded scheme to the full Council for approval in January 2020 to commence in April 2020.

For those not in receipt of Universal Credit, there are no proposed changes. So the Executive are also requested to recommend to the full Council the continuation of the current CTS scheme (complete with annual uprating as prescribed by the DWP) for those not in receipt of Universal Credit.

Alternative Options Considered and Rejected

The Council could decide to continue with the current scheme as is.  However, as the take up of UC increases, more claimants will be subject to regular changes to their income and bills.  This would make the scheme more difficult to administer, more confusing for the claimants and harder for the council to collect council tax owed.

The Council could apply a banded scheme for all working age claimants.  This would be problematic because the effect of the banded scheme would be different for UC cases to those on legacy benefits.  This would make the setting of the relevant income bands much harder and there would be a greater propensity for claimants to be worse off.  The current scheme is well suited for claimants not yet in receipt of UC so there is no requirement to change for this cohort.

 

Report author: Matthew Bunyon

Publication date: 21/01/2020

Date of decision: 15/01/2020

Decided at meeting: 15/01/2020 - Executive

Accompanying Documents: