Local Council Tax Support - Scheme

The Scheme 2021/2022

 

The Isle of Wight Council consulted with the public on changes to the Local Council Tax Support (LCTS) scheme for working age claimants between 1 August 2020 and 30 September 2020. The consultation closed on closed on 30 September 2020. The changes were approved on the 20 January 2021. The changes will begin on the 1 April 2021.

The Council Tax Reduction (CTR) scheme for Pension Age claimants is set by Government and you will not be affected by these changes. 

The changes will affect working age claimants who currently receive LCTS or may apply in the future.

The changes are detailed below:

The Local Council Tax Support Scheme changes for working age claimants for 2021/22 are:

  1. Reduce the maximum level of support from 70 per cent to 65 per cent. 

  2. Remove the current blanket protection of claimants in receipt of a disability benefit and give a income disregard of £50 per week.

  3. Disregard the Housing Element of Universal Credit as income.

 

Background Information

We made changes to our Local Council Tax Support scheme for 2020/21 and replaced the complex means test to provide simplification to the scheme. Instead, this scheme considers whether working age people should pay in the region of 35% to 100% of their Council Tax depending on their income and family circumstances. It takes into account funding cuts, Council Tax arrears, Universal Credit and the impact of wider welfare reform changes. As a minimum, all working age people will pay 35% of their Council Tax before they are entitled to support.

The Department for Works and Pensions (DWP) has introduced Universal Credit to replace six existing benefits. Because the amount of Universal Credit customers receive is reviewed each month by the DWP, this affects the income used to work out LCTS entitlement. This means that changes will be made to customers’ council tax accounts every month you pay your Council Tax on a monthly basis. The constant changes to your payment plan may increase the difficulties for you of budgeting on a fixed income and cause confusion. It also makes the scheme more costly to run.

Therefore, the Isle of Wight Council has decided to replace the current working-age scheme with a simplified scheme from 1 April 2020.  To find out more information on the scheme please visit Local Council Tax Support 'Am I Entitled' .

Since 2014/15 the amount of grant received from Government to pay for Council Tax Reductions (CTR) has been included with the general grant (Revenue Support Grant) we receive.  The grant has been significantly reduced each year and therefore there is less money available to meet the cost of CTR. As well as significantly reducing resources to pay for all council services.

The Isle of Wight Council will be continuing with its Exceptional Hardship Policy. Anyone who is experiencing severe hardship can find further information and how to apply by visiting Local Council Tax Support Exceptional Hardship.

Learn more about the Local Council Tax Support scheme and what the qualifying conditions are.

Please download and print out the listed documents:

  1. Local Council Tax Support Section 13A Policy – April 2021/22
  2. Exceptional Hardship Fund Policy 2021
  3. Equality Impact Assessment Second Stage Final
  4. Council Tax Banding Information. Visit GOV.UK to find out about your Council Tax Banding Information