Have your say on proposed changes to the Council Tax Reduction scheme from April 2022.
Friday 27 August to Friday 8 October 2021. This consultation is closed.
Council Tax Reduction is a scheme to assist people on a low income with their Council Tax bill. The amount of reduction a person can claim will depend on their circumstances. Eligible applicants receive this discount through a reduction in their Council Tax bill.
Each council has its own Council Tax Reduction scheme and is responsible for making decisions about how it applies to working age applicants in its area. Central government decides on how the scheme applies to people of pension age.
We proposed changes to our Council Tax Reduction scheme which will:
- Simplify it, making it easier to understand and access
- Provide greater stability for eligible applicants
- Reduce running and administration costs
- Make it work better with Universal Credit
- Make it fit for future demand
We asked for your views on the proposed changes to the scheme for working age people in Herefordshire.
Our proposed changes
In general our proposed changes streamline the scheme with national benefits schemes, making it simpler, while allowing more flexibility to be able to provide for those who most need the support.
- Introduce an income 'grid' scheme for all working age applicants to replace the current scheme which was based on the previous Council Tax Benefit Scheme. This will provide up to 90% support in certain cases (currently there is a maximum of 100%). (Option 1)
- Limit of two dependant children to be used in the calculation of support - to bring scheme in line with national Department of Work and Pensions benefit schemes (Option 2)
- Remove Non-Dependant deductions - the current scheme makes a deduction for members of the household who are not financially dependant, such as adult children. (Option 3)
- Disregard Carers Allowance, the Support Component of the Employment and Support Allowance and the housing element of Universal Credit in the calculation of income. (Option 4)
- Replace the current earnings disregards (also known as a work allowance) with a standard £25 disregard for all applicants where they are in work. (Option 5)
- Where a person is disabled and in receipt of certain disability benefits, award an additional disregard from any related income before calculating any entitlement to Council Tax Reduction. (Option 6)
- Remove the Extended Payment provision. (Option 7)
- Calculate all new claims and changes in circumstances to be effective from the day of the change in line with the discount schemes, rather than the current (benefit based) weekly basis. (Option 8)
- Allow the discretion to backdate any discount up to 12 months where a good reason is provided. (Option 9)
- Introduce a Minimum Income Floor for Self Employed applicants (Option 10)
You can read more about our current Council Tax Reduction scheme.
How we'll use the information from this consultation
The closing date for this consultation was Friday 8 October 2021.
We will use your feedback to help inform our decisions about any changes we make to the Council Tax Reduction Scheme. The results of this consultation will be published on this page in December 2021.
If you have any queries please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org