Shropshire Council

Council tax support consultation

  • Period: 16 November 2018 - 11 December 2018
  • Status: Open
  • Audiences: Everyone
  • Topics: Benefits and welfare
  • Type: Public

Introduction

The former national Council Tax Benefit Scheme was abolished on 31 March 2013 and replaced with a new system of localised council tax support. This requires each billing authority to design and implement its own scheme for awarding council tax discounts to working age customers on low incomes, while accommodating a 10% reduction in government funding.

Our current scheme was approved by council on 14 December 2017. The changes that were agreed that took effect from 1 April 2018 were:

  • Make changes to our current scheme to align with housing benefit changes:
    • Removal of the family premium
    • Applying the two child limitation
    • Restricting backdating to a maximum of one month
    • Bereavement support payments and payments from either the ‘We Love Manchester Fund’ or the ‘London Emergency Trust’ to be disregarded in full
    • Absence from home to be limited to four weeks when outside GB
    • Beneficial changes to be reported within one month of date of change
  • Apply a minimum award of £1.50
  • Introduce a de minimus amount of £10 per week for claimants in receipt of universal credit
  • Apply a minimum 20% payment in council tax support

Take a look at the report considered by council, including a summary of the scheme.

In order to ensure that the most vulnerable groups in society are protected it was agreed that the following would be exempt from the 20% minimum payment:

  • Claimants in receipt of severe disability premium
  • Claimants in receipt of the support component of employment and support allowance
  • Claimants in receipt of war pension

Proposed changes to our council tax support scheme with effect from 1 April 2019

We went live with universal credit full service in May 2018. The severe disability premium doesn't exist in universal credit. Employment and support allowance doesn't form part of universal credit. This means that claimants who have moved into universal credit who would otherwise have been exempt from the 20% minimum payment won't be exempt. 

In order to ensure that affected claimants who have moved into universal credit retain the exemption from the 20% minimum payment it's proposed that:

  • Claimants or couples who have moved into universal credit but meet the qualifying criteria for the severe disablement premium will be exempt from the 20% minimum payment
  • Claimants or partners in receipt of the limited capability for work-related activity element in universal credit (that's the equivalent to the support element of employment and support allowance) will be exempt from the 20% minimum payment

There is no expected cost or saving as a result of this amendment.

If you'd like to respond to this consultation please contact benefits@shropshire.gov.uk

Data protection

Information collected in our surveys will only be used by us (Shropshire Council) to inform the immediate and future provision of our services. The information you provide will be kept confidential in accordance with our Privacy Policy. It will not be shared outside of Shropshire Council. Information collected via our online surveys (hosted on the Surveymonkey website) will be stored on SurveyMonkey’s servers in the United States of America and SurveyMonkey gives an undertaking never to disclose the survey questions or your responses to others without permission.