2019/20 Council Tax Reduction Scheme
Decision Maker: Cabinet
Is Key decision?: Yes
Is subject to call in?: No
To approve the continuation of the 2018/19 local council tax reduction scheme (CTR) for
2019/20. The current scheme was initially approved by Council on 18 December 2015.
It is a legal requirement to annually review the council’s council tax reduction scheme and the decision is reserved to full Council. The current scheme has been reviewed and there is no evidence to support a change at this time.
In discussion of the item cabinet members noted that:
· with regard to the council tax discount for care leavers aged 18-25, in most cases the discount would be 100% and only in very exceptional circumstances would a lower discount be applied;
· a range of options existed where council tax payers were experiencing hardship and there had been no major changes in take up rates;
· engagement with those struggling to pay their council tax sought to understand their individual circumstances and ability to pay, the council was also able to make particular arrangements with those transitioning to and in receipt of universal credit;
· there was a local scheme for people of working age and a national scheme for pensions, there were different criteria for the two schemes;
· the council worked closely with partners such as charities and the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to signpost those experiencing difficulty to all the help available, councillors could also play a role by directing ward residents to the information available on the council website.
Group Leaders were invited to give the views of their group. Comments noted were:
· the council should take care that summoning those who were in arrears did not exacerbate problems within the household and check if those being pursued were known to the council in other capacities;
· it was important that those who needed support received it but also that those who could pay did so in order to be fair to all tax payers;
· there had been an increase in the number of people in arrears but no increase in the take up of the hardship scheme, it was important that the scheme was property advertised.
(a) The council tax reduction scheme for 2019/20, attached at appendix 2, be approved.
Wards Affected: (All Wards);
Report author: Josie Rushgrove
Publication date: 31/01/2019
Date of decision: 31/01/2019
Decided at meeting: 31/01/2019 - Cabinet