Council Tax Support Scheme
The Government has made a number of changes to welfare benefits; one of which is the abolition of Council Tax Benefit.
What changes have been made?
Council Tax Benefit was replaced by a local ‘Council Tax Support’ scheme, which took effect from 1 April 2013.
This new local scheme was approved by Council on 26 January 2013, following extensive public consultation and updated annually every January.
The Government is giving councils less money to pay for their new schemes. The cut will be 10% of the current expenditure and will not be increased if the number of people claiming or the council tax charge goes up. At present we spend £7.3 million per year on Council Tax Benefit (CTB). This means we have to find £730,000 to cover the 10% cut.
The Government is protecting Pensioners, so savings have to be found from elsewhere.
Will I still get help with my Council Tax?
The Council Tax Support scheme will not give you as much help with your Council Tax as you had previously because the Government has cut the amount of money to be spent on welfare benefits which means you have to pay more.
Our scheme means that every ‘working age’ resident has to pay council tax even if they are claiming financial support. The support scheme is calculated on 91.5% of your council tax liability (after discounts for single persons etc.) instead of 100% as previously. This means that everyone has to pay at least 8.5% of the net liability.
What do I need to do?
We will automatically transfer your claim for Council Tax Benefit into the new Council Tax support scheme. We will send you your new Council Tax bill as usual in March but the amount you pay from April will be higher than before.
If you do not pay anything towards your Council Tax at the moment, you will need to start paying from April. The amount you will have to pay depends on where you live and what council tax band your house is in.
The easiest way to pay is by monthly Direct Debit.
If you do not want to set up a Direct Debit, you can pay in other ways.
What does this mean for you?
If a customer is classed as a pensioner, they will be protected from the effects of the changes and get support on the same basis as previously.
If a customer is classed as ‘working age’, they will have to pay towards their Council Tax.
Stevenage Borough Council
Tel: 01438 242440
Council Tax General Enquiries
East Herts and Stevenage Borough Council