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Council Tax support scheme consultation

We are consulting on the proposed changes to our Council Tax Support Scheme. The consultation will be open until midnight Sunday 18 October 2020.

Council Tax Support consultation survey

All responses will be collated and presented to the council in December 2020.  Full details of the new scheme will then be published in early 2021 to be launched on 1 April 2021.

Council Tax Support provides low income households, both in and out of work, with help to pay their council tax.  Any owner, occupiers or tenant aged 18 or over who is legally responsible for the council tax can make a claim for Council Tax Support.

Since 2013 the fully government funded Council Tax Benefit was replaced by local Council Tax Support (CTS) schemes. Resulting in a 10% decrease in government funding. The current scheme costs us in the region of £5 million a year and is no longer financially sustainable.

There are no proposed changes to other Council tax discounts and exemptions. We know some households are under extreme financial pressure and will have a hardship fund available to support people who may struggle with their Council Tax.  

Any changes to the Council Tax Support scheme from 1 April 2021 do not affect Pension Age applicants, unless they have a partner who is receiving a work age means tested benefit or Universal Credit.

Proposed Scheme

We have decided to look at a different way to calculate how much assistance we can give residents with their Council Tax bill.  We are proposing to move to a Banded Scheme.

In the Banded Scheme, we look at the income coming into the household. The more income you have, the less assistance is received. Payments will be backdated up to a maximum of four weeks. Amounts of Council Tax that will need to be paid will be spread out over the financial year to make it easy and affordable to pay. The maximum council tax band that can apply is Band E.

Protected group for people getting disability benefits

If you receive a disability benefit or someone in your immediate household receives a disability benefit, there is a more protected scheme. This increases the amounts of help that can be given to each band.

The proposed scheme and income bands 

The table shows weekly income and what band that means you will be in. The bands are the same for working age people and for people in the protected group. There are separate columns showing the maximum amount of support for someone of working age and someone in a protected group.

Income Band Single Person weekly income £ Couple weekly income £ Lone Parent weekly income £ Couple with Children weekly income £ Working age max amount council tax support  Protected group max amount council tax support

Band 1

0 to 75

0 to 115

0 to 150

0 to 200

90%

95%

Band 2

75.01 to 100

115.01 to 150

150.01 to 175

200.01 to 250

70%

75%

Band 3

100.01 to 125

150.01 to 200

175.01 to 225

250.01 to 300

50%

55%

Band 4

125.01 to 150

200.01 to 250

225.01 to 275

300.01 to 350

30%

35%

Band 5

150.01 to 175

250.01 to 300

275.01 to 325

350.01 to 400

10%

15%

 

Income exemptions and disregards

If you receive any of the following you will automatically be put in Band 1 and get 90% support

  • Income support
  • Job Seekers (income based)
  • Employment Support Allowance (income related)

We will add an extra £1 to every £250 of your income for capital or savings you have between £3000 and £6000. The upper limit for capital is £6000.

The following payments will not be included as part of your income:

  • Adoption Allowance
  • Armed Forces Independence Payment
  • Child Benefit
  • Charitable or Voluntary Payments
  • Fostering Payments
  • Child Maintenance
  • Personal Independence Payments, Disability Living Allowance, Attendance Allowance
  • War Disablement Pension
  • Universal Credit limited capability to work
  • Universal Credit Housing Allowance
  • Child Care £175 to £300

We will not include a certain amount of your earned weekly income if any of the following apply to you:

  • single Person £5 will be disregarded
  • couple £10 will be disregarded
  • lone Parent £25 will be disregarded
  • additional Earnings £17.10 will be disregarded
  • Disabled Workers £20 will be disregarded
  • Disabled workers higher Permitted Earnings  £131.50
  • Disabled workers lower Permitted Earnings  £20

Any Non Dependant Deductions will be as per Government allowances

If you have children you can get a Special Allowance Addition of Child Allowance £50 per child up to two children.

Working age examples of proposed scheme

Single person 

Single person example one

Albert receives Income Based Jobseeker’s Allowance of £74.35 per week as his only source of income. He owns his home and lives by himself for which he gets a 25% discount. His Council Tax liability is in Band B and after the discount is £1,128.58 for the year.

  • Under the current scheme Albert receives £1,128.58 for the year and has to pay nothing towards his Council Tax bill
  • Under the Proposed Scheme Albert will receive £1,015.72 for the year and has to pay £112.86 towards his Council Tax bill over 10 or 12 instalments

Single person example two

Bob receives Universal Credit of £859.88 per calendar month. Of this £449.99 is for his rent (housing element) and the remaining £409.89 is to live on. He lives by himself for which he gets a 25%  discount. His Council Tax liability is in Band B and after the discount is £1,128.58 for the year.

  • Under the current scheme Bob receives £1,128.58 for the year and has nothing to pay towards his Council Tax bill. The money he receives for his rent is not counted in the calculation
  • Under the proposed scheme Bob will receive £1,015.72 for the year and has to pay £112.86 towards his Council Tax bill over 10 or 12 instalments. The money he receives for his rent is not counted in the calculation

Single person example three

Clare lives alone in her own house and is self-employed. She earns £120 per week working 20  hours. Her house is in Council Tax Band C and, after her 25% discount for living alone, her Council Tax liability for the year is £1,289.81.

  • Under the current scheme Clare receives £865.89 towards her Council Tax bill and has to pay the remaining £423.92 over 10 or 12 instalments. £5 per week of her earnings are not counted in the calculation
  • Under the proposed scheme Clare receives £644.91 towards her Council Tax bill and has to pay the remaining £644.90 over 10 or 12 instalments. £5 per week of her earnings are not counted in the calculation

Couple

Couple example one

Debbie and Edward own their own Band D house. The Council Tax liability for the year is £1,934.71. They both work earning a combined amount of £225 per week for their 30+ hours. They have no other source of income.

  • Under the current scheme they receive £1,088.95 towards their Council Bill for the year. They must pay the remaining amount of £845.76 over 10 or 12 months. A basic £10 per week of their earnings and an additional £17.10 per week of their earnings are not counted in the calculation
  • Under the proposed scheme they receive £967.36 towards their Council Tax bill. They must pay the remaining amount of £967.35 over 10 or 12 months.  A basic £10 per week of their earnings and an additional £17.10 per week of their earnings are not counted in the calculation.

Couple example two

Florence and Greg rent their property from a Housing Association and they receive Universal Credit of £981.71 per calendar month, of which £450.67 is for their rent, along with wages from Florence’s part time job of £100 per week for 16 hours. The property is in a band B for Council Tax with an annual liability of £1,504.77.

  • Under the current scheme they receive £717.81 towards their Council Tax bill. They must pay the remaining £786.96 over 10 or 12 instalments. £10 per week of the earnings and the full amount for their rent are not included in the calculation
  • Under the proposed scheme they receive £451.43 towards their Council Tax bill with the remaining £1,053.34 to be paid in 10 or 12 instalments. £10 per week of the earnings and the full amount for their rent are not included in the calculation

Couple example three

Harry and Imogen own their Band E property with an annual Council Tax liability of £2,364.65. Harry works 40 hours per week and earns £1,300 per calendar month. Imogen does not work but has savings of £5,000.

  • Under the current scheme they receive £736.75 towards their Council Tax bill with the remaining £1,627.90 to be paid over 10 or 12 instalments. An earnings disregard of £117.43 per calendar month from the earnings is not included in the calculation
  • Under the proposed scheme they receive £236.47 towards their Council Tax bill with the remaining £2,128.18 to be paid over 10 or 12 instalments. An earnings disregard of £117.43 per calendar month is not included in the calculation. However Notional Income of £8.00 from the £5,000 capital is included

Lone Parent

Lone parent example one

Joanne lives by herself in a Band A Council Tax property with her two children. She receives Income Support of £74.35 per week, Child Benefit of £35.00 per week and Child Tax Credit of £108.00 per week. The annual liability for a Band A property, after a discount for being the only adult is applied, is £967.36.

  • Under the current scheme Joanne receives £967.36 towards her Council Tax bill and so has nothing to pay. Income Support awards her the maximum amount available regardless of her other income
  • Under the proposed scheme Joanne receives £870.62 towards her Council Tax bill leaving the remaining £96.74 to be paid over 10 or 12 instalments. Income Support places Joanne in the highest percentage award band and all other income received is ignored

Lone parent example two

Kirsty lives by herself in a privately rented property with her 10 year old son. Her Council Tax band is a band C valued at £1,289.81 after a discount for being the only adult is applied. She receives Universal Credit of £1,245.71 per calendar month of which £599.99 is for her rent (housing element). 

  • Under the current scheme Kirsty receives £1,289.81 towards her Council Tax bill and so has nothing to pay. The housing element is not included in the calculation
  • Under the proposed scheme Kirsty receives £1,160.83 towards her Council Tax bill and has to pay the remaining £128.98 over 10 or 12 instalments. The housing element is not included in the calculation.

Lone parent example three

Liam lives by himself in his own house with his daughter. Liam is self-employed and works 24 hours per week earning £150. He also receives Child Benefit of £21.05 per week, Child Tax Credits of £60.00 per week and Working Tax Credit of £45.00 per week. His ex-wife pays Child Maintenance of £50.00 per week. Liam’s Council Tax liability after discount is £2,095.94. It is a band F property.

  • Under the current scheme Liam receives £1,363.02 towards his Council Tax bill. The remaining £732.92 must be paid over 10 or 12 instalments. In the calculation, a total earnings disregard of £42.10 is taken from his self-employed earnings. Also Child Benefit and Child Maintenance are ignored in full
  • Under the proposed scheme: Liam receives £886.74 towards his Council Tax bill. The remaining £1,209.20 remains to be paid over 10 or 12 instalments. In the calculation, the maximum liability for a property that can be considered is a Band E. A total earnings disregard of £42.10 is taken from his self-employed earnings. Child Benefit and Child Maintenance are ignored in full

Couple with Children

Couple with children example one

Mike and Naomi have one child. They own their Council Tax band C house with an annual liability of £1,719.74. Mike earns £170 per week. They also receive Child  Benefit of £21.05 per week & Child Tax Credit of £61.00 per week.

  • Under the current scheme they receive £1,345.04 towards their Council Tax bill leaving £374.70 to pay over 10 or 12 instalments. In the calculation, Child Benefit is ignored in full and £10.00 of the earnings is also ignored
  • Under the proposed scheme they receive £1,203.82 towards their Council Tax bill leaving £515.92 to pay over 10 or 12 instalments. In the calculation, Child Benefit is ignored in full and £10.00 of the earnings is also ignored.

Couple with children example two

Oscar & Penny have three children. They rent privately and claim Universal Credit but they only receive the child element for two of their three children. Oscar works and earns £400 per calendar month. Their Universal Credit award is £1,793.07 which includes a housing element of £749.99 per calendar month. Their annual Council Tax for their band D property is £1,934.71. 

  • Under the current scheme they receive £1,920.01 towards their Council Tax bill leaving £14.70 to pay over 10 or 12 instalments. In the calculation, Dependant Allowances for three children have been granted and £43.33 per calendar month of the earnings is also ignored. The housing element is also ignored in full
  • Under the proposed scheme they receive £580.41 towards their Council Tax bill leaving £1,354.30 to pay over 10 or 12 instalments. The housing element has been ignored in full and £43.33 per calendar month of the earnings is also ignored

Couple with children example three

Quentin and Rebecca have two children. They own their Council Tax Band A property and also receive Universal Credit. Neither Quentin nor Rebecca is currently working. Their annual Council Tax liability is £1,289.81. Their Universal Credit award is £1,043.12, which is the maximum award they can receive less a £68 advance recovery deduction.

  • Under the current scheme they receive £1,289.81 towards their Council Tax bill leaving nothing for them to pay. In the calculation, advance recovery counts as money received
  • Under the proposed scheme they receive £644.91 towards their Council Tax bill leaving £644.90 remaining to be paid in 10 or 12 instalments. In the calculation, advance recovery counts as money received

Protected scheme examples

Single

Single example one

Stuart is in receipt of Income Related Employment & Support Allowance of £103.90 per week. He rents from a Housing Association and the property is in Council Tax Band B. After his discount for living alone, his annual liability is £1,128.58.

  • Under the current scheme Stuart receives £1,128.58 towards his Council Tax bill leaving nothing for him to pay. Income Related Employment and Support Allowance grants the maximum award possible
  • Under the proposed scheme Stuart receives £1,072.15 towards his Council Tax bill leaving him £56.43 to pay over 10 or 12 months. Income Related Employment and Support Allowance grants the maximum award possible

Single example two

Tilly owns her Council Tax Band C property. She works 16 hours per week earning £200 and she also receives the Standard Living component of Personal Independence Payment (PIP), which is £59.70 per week. After her discount for being the sole adult in the property, her annual Council Tax liability is £1,289.81.

  • Under the current scheme Tilly receives £1,289.81 towards her Council Tax bill and has nothing to pay. Her PIP award is not counted in the calculation. £37.10 of her earnings is also ignored
  • Under the proposed scheme Tilly receives £193.47 towards her Council Tax bill and has to pay the remaining £1,096.34 over 10 or 12 instalments. Her PIP award is not counted in the calculation. £37.10 of her earnings is also ignored


Couple

Couple example one

Ursula and Victor’s property is in a Band F for Council Tax. Their annual liability is £2,794.58. Ursula receives the Standard Living component of Personal Independence Payment (PIP), £59.70 per week, Employment & Support Allowance of £113.55 and a private pension of £70.00 per month. Victor receives £67.25 from Carer’s Allowance and a private pension of £120.00 per month. 

  • Under the current scheme they receive £2,469.73 towards their Council Tax bill and must pay the remaining £324.85 over 10 or 12 instalments. The PIP award is ignored in full
  • Under the proposed scheme they receive £827.63 towards their Council Tax bill and must pay the remaining £1,966.95 over 10 or 12 instalments. In the calculation, the PIP award is ignored in full and the maximum liability is restricted to a Band E property, £2,364.65

Couple example two

Wendy and Xavier rent their house from a Housing Association. The property falls into a Band A for Council Tax with an annual charge of £1,289.81. They receive Universal Credit of £1,304.29 which includes £368.33 towards their rent and £341.92 limited capability for work and work related activity. Xavier also receives the Middle rate of the Care Component of Disability Living Allowance.

  • Under the current scheme they receive £1,289.81 towards their Council Tax bill and have nothing further to pay. In the calculation, the housing element of Universal Credit is ignored as is the limited capability for work and work related activity element.  The Disability Living Allowance award is also ignored in full
  • Under the proposed scheme they receive £967.36 towards their Council Tax bill and must pay the remaining £322.45 over 10 or 12 instalments. The housing element of Universal Credit is ignored in the calculation as is the limited capability for work and work related activity element. The Disability Living Allowance award is also fully ignored

Lone Parent

Lone parent example one

Yasmine rents her house from a private landlord. Her property falls into a Band B for Council Tax and, after her single person discount, she is liable to pay £1,128.58  annually. She has a son who receives the highest amount of the Living component of  Personal independence Payment (PIP). The current rate is £89.15 per week. Yasmine herself receives £111.85 per week Income Support and Carer’s Allowance combined along with £70.00 per week for Child Tax Credit and £21.05 per week for Child Benefit.

  • Under the current scheme Yasmine receives £1,128.58 towards her Council Tax bill and has to pay nothing. As she receives Income Support, all other sources of income are disregarded fully and she receives the maximum award available
  • Under the proposed scheme Yasmine receives £1,072.15 towards her Council Tax bill and has to pay £56.43 over 10 or 12 instalments. As she receives Income Support, all other sources of income are disregarded fully and she receives the maximum award available

Lone parent example two

Zac owns his house and lives there with his three children. He works 16 hours every week earning £160 per week. He receives Carer’s Allowance of £67.25 per week as one of his children is disabled. The child is entitled to £62.25 per week for the enhanced component of Personal Independence Payment (PIP) Mobility. Zac also receives £200 per week for Child Tax Credit and £48.95 per week Child Benefit. He pays out £60 per week for Child Care. Zac’s annual liability after his discount is £1,128.58, a Band B property.

  • Under the current scheme: Zac receives £1,128.58 towards his Council Tax bill and so has nothing to pay. In the calculation, Child Benefit and PIP are ignored in full. The Child Care costs are offset against his earnings and a further deduction of £42.10 is taken as well
  • Under the proposed scheme: Zac receives £0.00 towards his Council Tax bill and so has to pay the full amount of £1,128.58 over 10 or 12 instalments. In the calculation, Child Benefit and PIP are ignored in full. The Child Care costs are offset against his earnings and a further deduction of £42.10 is taken as well

Couple with Children

Couple with children example one

Amanda and Ben own their house and live there with their son. They receive Universal Credit of £553.11 per month as Ben receives new style Employment and Support Allowance of £74.35 per week. They also receive £21.05 per week Child Benefit. The house falls into a Council Tax Band C so they have to pay £1,719.74 annually. 

  • Under the current scheme they receive £1,719.74 towards their Council Tax bill and so have nothing to pay. In the calculation, Child Benefit is fully ignored
  • Under the proposed scheme they receive £945.86 towards their Council Tax bill and must pay the remaining £773.88 over 10 or 12 instalments. In the calculation, Child Benefit is fully ignored

Couple with children example two

Carole and David rent their house from a Housing Association. They have two children who both receive the Middle rate Disability Living Allowance Care component. Carole and David receive Income Support, Carer’s Allowance, Child Tax Credit and Child Benefit totalling £346.80 per week. Their annual Council Tax bill is £1,504.77, a band B property.

  • Under the current scheme they receive £1,504.77 towards their Council Tax bill and have to pay nothing. As they receive Income Support, all other income is fully disregarded and they receive the maximum available award.
  • Under the proposed scheme they receive £1,429.53 towards their Council Tax bill and have to pay the remaining £75.24 over 10 or 12 instalments. As they receive Income Support, all other income is fully disregarded and they receive the maximum available award