The national Council Tax Benefit (CTB) scheme ended 31ST March 2013 and was replaced by a locally determined system of Council Tax Support (CTS). The funding made available by Government for the new scheme was reduced by 10% nationally and cash limited. The aim of the new support scheme is to provide financial assistance to council taxpayers who have low incomes. Persons who are of state pension credit qualifying age are protected under the scheme in that the calculation of the support they are to receive has been set by Central Government. For working age applicants however the support they receive on the Isle of Wight is to be determined by the Council.
At this stage it is projected that the financial assistance for the scheme to be provided by Central Government will be some £1.8m less than the amount provided to support the previous Council Tax Benefit scheme. In order to fully or partly meet this funding gap the Council had to consider a reduction of council tax support paid to working age claimants.
This completed EIA sets out the review considerations in providing the final Council Tax Support scheme for the second year 2014/15 following the Council decison of 16.1.13 to provide a transitional scheme during 2013/14 to enable residents to adjust to paying the full amount of the contirbutions required (resrticting to maximum of 80% support) from 1 April 2014.