The Scheme 2018/20
The Local Council Tax Support Scheme changes for working age claimants for 2018/20 are:
To provide maximum entitlement for working age claimants to 70 per cent of their council tax liability
Restricted to a maximum Band C valuation if your property is band D or above (Band C is the average level of tax for claimants)
Bereavement benefit changes (aligns the Local Council Tax Support Scheme with the Housing Benefit Scheme which disregards Bereavement Support as part of the National Welfare Reform changes).
Prior to April 2013, Council Tax payers could apply for Council Tax Benefit (CTB) to help pay their Council Tax. Under this national scheme, Council Tax payers could receive benefit of up to 100% of their Council Tax liability. The Council then received full funding from the Government for all correct Council Tax Benefit awards made.
From April 2013 local authorities became responsible for setting up their own local Council Tax Reduction Schemes (CTR) for working age people. The Government also reduced the amount of funding given to Councils to pay for the schemes in 2013/14.
Since 2014/15 the amount of grant received from Government to pay for CTR has been included within the general grant (Revenue Support Grant) we receive. The amount of this grant has been significantly reduced each year and therefore there is less money available to meet the costs of CTR as well as significantly reduced resources to pay for all Council services.
The Council has had overall on-going government grant reductions of some £40m since 2011/12 to date as well as having to accommodate inflation and other cost increases of a further £43m, requiring the Council to make total savings of £68m with the balance being made up from increases in Council Tax of £15m.
The council accepted the Government’s 4 year settlement offer on October 2016 which provides some certainty over future Government funding although the funding reductions remain significant and challenging. It is estimated that savings of £19m will need to be found over the next three years including £6m due to Government grant reductions, making it increasingly difficult for the council to maintain services except for those relating to its statutory duties.
For next year’s budget (2018/19) the Council has a projected revenue budget gap of some £7.5m. The Isle of Wight Council collects Council Tax in relation to the Isle of Wight Council, the Hampshire Police and Crime Commissioner and Town and Parish Councils. Each receives a percentage of the overall Council Tax that we collect.
The CTR scheme for Pension Age claimants is set by Government. The changes will affect working age claimants who currently receive CTR or may apply in the future.
View more information about previous Local Council Tax Support Schemes.