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Consultation on changes to Council Tax Benefit

July 22, 2019 9:37 AM
By Trevor Carbin

There are two types of Council Tax Benefit (CTB). One, for pensioners, has its criteria set nationally. The other, for everyone else, can be varied by local authorities.

The roll-out of Universal Credit (UC) has made things more complicated, especially for those who are self-employed or on zero hours contracts. Fluctuations in income have to be notified to the DWP, who then tell the council, who then adjust the household's CTB.

For Wiltshire this happens 5,000 times a month.

So WC wants to reduce the bureaucracy by introducing income bands, so that minor fluctuations in income wouldn't cause a change to the level of CTB.

Currently 24,500 households in Wiltshire receive help with their council tax at a cost of £24 million per year. 10,500 of these are pensioners so not affected by these proposals. Also unlikely to be involved are the 6,000 households who get a full reduction.

That leaves about 8,000 who get a partial reduction. They're the ones who are affected by the changes, though WC says the overall outcome should be cost neutral.

There would though be a maximum rebate for people in this category of 80% of CT liability.

The consultation will involve current claimants and all precepting bodies including town and parish councils. The consultation won't make any difference to the proposals, which will be confirmed in November and implemented in April.

The changes and the consultation process will be agreed at the WC 'cabinet' meeting tomorrow Tuesday. Agenda item 6