Local Council Tax Support Scheme
From the 1st April 2013 all councils have provided a local scheme to provide council tax support for those households who meet the criteria for a reduction against their council tax bill. In Rochdale Borough this is known as the Local Council Tax Support Scheme. The scheme seeks to be as fair as possible and aims to protect our most vulnerable residents.
The current scheme provides a reduction on your council tax bill if you meet the entitlement criteria. Extra support to people with children, caring responsibilities, ill health or a disability is provided. The maximum support for a working age claimant is 75% of the council tax for a Band A property even if you live in a property with a higher band.
Why are we considering this change?
Each year the Council must review how the Scheme is operating. The Council is seeking your views on proposals to amend the Scheme for working age claimants from 1st April 2015. The proposals include:
1. Leaving the scheme the same in 2015/16 as it currently operates.
2. The current scheme calculates an assumed level of need (living costs) for each claimant. If their income is above this level of need their council tax support is reduced by 30p for each £1 of income they have above their assessed level of need. The proposed scheme would reduce this to 20p in every £1. For example; a working age disabled claimant who does not receive full benefit, who lives in a Band A property and whose income is £117.98 per week (pwk). The living costs allowed would be £105.48 pwk giving them income of £12.50 pwk above living costs. Currently £3.75pwk (30p per £1) would be deducted from their award. This would be reduced to £2.50pwk (20p per £1) if the taper was reduced.
3. Increasing the amount of support to 80% of the council tax for a Band A property.
4. Introducing a small Discretionary Council Tax Support Hardship Fund to provide extra financial support to vulnerable people most in need.
Who is affected?
Current and future council tax support claimants of pension credit age are protected and will continue to receive financial support based on the previous government’s national Council Tax Benefit Scheme criteria.
We would like your views on the proposals, please contribute by completing the online survey below.