Council Tax Reduction scheme introduced

People in the Winchester district on low or no income who receive help to pay their Council Tax will not lose out in spite of a reduction in the funds available to Winchester City Council to support them.

From 1 April 2013 a local scheme called Council Tax Reduction (CTR) replaces the previous Council Tax Benefit system. Under CTR Winchester City Council will receive around 12 per cent less from Government to fund the support.

Cllr Stephen Godfrey, Portfolio Holder for Finance and Administration for Winchester City Council, said

Winchester has had to make some difficult decisions due to the reduction in funding but, following consultation, the Council has decided not to pass on the reduction to those on benefits in the district.

The Council is committed to making work pay and we have enhanced the CTR scheme to ensure that working-age customers keep more of their wages by increasing the amount you can earn before you start to lose Council Tax support.

The Government has said that pensioner claimants must be protected from the effects of any changes and so support for them will remain at the same level under the new scheme as before.

The 12-week consultation launched in August 2012 to gather the views of customers, residents and stakeholders in the Winchester district prompted 850 responses. It highlighted the level of financial difficulty that could arise if benefit recipients had to pay a percentage of Council Tax from 2013.

The Council considered the results of this consultation at its meeting on 9 January 2013 and decided not to pass on the Government’s reduction in funding to working-age customers.