Council Tax Reduction Scheme

Closed 12 Nov 2018

Opened 23 Aug 2018

Overview

Redbridge Council are considering modifications to the Council Tax Reduction Scheme for working age households for 2019/20 and 2020/21. We would like to hear your views on these proposed changes.

Why We Are Consulting

In April 2013, the government abolished Council Tax Benefit and asked local Councils to design their own Council Tax Reduction Schemes for working age claimants. Since April 2013, Government funding for the Council Tax Reduction Scheme has reduced year on year. The cost of the scheme is £2.5m more than the grant received from the Department for Work and Pensions. The Council do not pass this cut in full on to users of the scheme and instead subsidise the scheme to provide the current level of support, which means we have less to spend in other areas.

Additionally, we need to:

  • Simplify the way the scheme is delivered - the current Council Tax Reduction Scheme is based on the former Council Tax Benefit scheme which is complex and can be difficult for claimants to understand. The proposed scheme is based on income bands and maximum support options of 75%, 70% and 85% for claimants in receipt of certain disability benefits. This means that small fluctuations in income will rarely affect entitlement, allowing claimants to budget more effectively. 
  • Reduce administration costs – If the Council continue with the current scheme, the introduction of Universal Credit means that there could be frequent entitlement changes for claimants. This would mean re-billing claimants monthly and additional costs for the Council in terms of printing, postage, assessment and queries. Retention of the current scheme would require additional staff to administer the frequent changes at an estimated cost of £70k per year.

What Happens Next

A final decision will be made by full Council in January 2019.

Areas

  • All Areas

Audiences

  • All residents
  • Businesses
  • Developers
  • People on benefits

Interests

  • Budget
  • Council Tax
  • Benefits