58 Final Council Tax Support Scheme PDF 395 KB
The Financial Support Manager presented the Final Council Tax Support Scheme for Members’ consideration and in so doing highlighted the following for Members’ consideration:
· The new proposed scheme was income banded.
· Should the scheme be approved, there would be an increase in costs for the Council. However, this would be lower than the costs involved in administering the scheme when it was localised in 2014/15.
· The new scheme was designed to streamline the administration involved and to simplify the process to the benefit of both the Council and the customer.
· The new scheme would enable closer integration to occur with Universal Credit. When the DWP notified the Council that a resident was in receipt of Universal Credit this would automatically be taken into account in relation to that customer’s Council tax liabilities.
· The links to Universal Credit would make the costs involved with the scheme more predictable for both the Council and residents and would help customers to manage their personal budgets. By contrast, the current scheme was more volatile.
· A total of 100 per cent support would be provided to residents on the lowest incomes. By contrast, the existing scheme required all residents to pay at least 20 per cent of their Council tax.
· A Hardship Scheme would be retained so that financial support could be provided to any residents who were negatively impacted by the changes.
· The Council had undertaken a consultation exercise in respect of the proposed changes. There had been 43 responses to this consultation process, the majority of which had been broadly in favour of the proposed changes.
Members subsequently discussed the proposed changes to the scheme and noted that the new scheme would help to support some of the most vulnerable people in the community. Questions were raised about how the Council’s proposed scheme compared to other local authorities’ Council Tax Support Schemes. The Committee was informed that a number of Councils, including Wyre Forest District Council, had already introduced an income banded scheme and other authorities were considering doing so. Officers confirmed that there would remain sufficient flexibility within the scheme to make changes where necessary.
the introduction of a new income banded / grid scheme for working age applicants with effect from 1st April 2021 to implement a modern, future proofed scheme and reduce the administrative burden placed on the Council by the introduction of Universal Credit.