Changes to Council Tax & Council Tax Benefit

Council Tax
The Government abolished Council Tax Benefit from 1st April 2013 and Councils have had to develop their own Council Tax Reduction schemes to replace it.

For 2013/14, following consultation and consideration of the responses, the Council adopted the following changes:

  1. To abolish the 10% discount awarded in respect of second homes (furnished properties that are no ones main home);
     
  2. To introduce a discount of 100% for a period of up to twelve months following the abolition of exemption class A for ‘uninhabitable’ properties (properties where no one lives, are substantially unfurnished and require major repair work or are undergoing major repair work or structural alteration to render it habitable) which are currently awarded for up to twelve months;
     
  3. To introduce a discount of 100% for a period of up to one month following the abolition of exemption class C which relates to vacant properties (properties where no one lives which are substantially unfurnished) which currently can be awarded for up to six months;
     
  4. To abolish the 50% discount for properties that remain vacant (properties where no one lives which are substantially unfurnished). 
     
  5. To base the new local Council Tax Reduction scheme on the existing Council Tax Benefit scheme
     
  6. To increase income disregards in the new local Council Tax Reduction scheme for working age claimants so that single claimants have the first £10 of earned income disregarded and others have the first £25 of earned income disregarded
     
  7. To continue to disregard 100% of certain payments in the new local Council Tax Reduction scheme (for working age and pensioner age customers) made under the War Pension and Armed Forces Compensation Scheme

     

For 2014/15, following another consultation period, the Council made the following change to the local Council Tax Reduction scheme:

  1. To further increase the income disregards in the new local Council Tax Reduction scheme for working age claimants so that single claimants have the first £20 of earned income disregarded and others have the first £50 of earned income disregarded
     

For 2015/16, following a further consultation period, the Council has made the following change to the local Council Tax Reduction scheme:

  1. To further increase the income disregards in the new local Council Tax Reduction scheme for working age claimants so that single claimants have the first £30 of earned income disregarded and others have the first £60 of earned income disregarded


The Government has stated that pensioner claimants must be protected from the effects of any changes which means that under the new Council Tax Reduction Scheme support for pensioners will remain at the same level as they would have received as Council Tax Benefit.

The changes will therefore not affect you if you, or your partner, are classed as pensioners.  Please click here to see "Who is a Pensioner".