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National changes to the Council Tax Benefit Scheme

Response to the consultation for the new Council Tax Support Scheme

The current Council Tax Benefit system is being replacing by a localised Council Tax Support Scheme from 1 April 2013. This change is part of the Government's welfare reforms and Herefordshire will receive a fixed amount of money to fund this new scheme. The amount provided will be less than the council currently receives in Council Tax Benefit subsidy.

Herefordshire Council is required to develop the new support scheme and we have consulted residents on our proposals. As part of the consultation process we agreed to provide details of the outcomes from the consultation and these are available to the right. 

As the consultation was ending, the Government announced they were offering local councils additional funding for the first year of the new support scheme provided any council tax payer who currently receives 100 per cent Council Tax Benefit does not have to pay more than 8.5 per cent of their council tax under the new scheme. The grant will only be available for the 2013/4 financial year.

The council considered the outcomes from the consultation and the Government's offer of a transitional grant and decided to accept the additional funding as this reduces the amount that working age claimants will have to pay to meet the shortfall in funding.

In view of this only two of the principles proposed in the consultation will be included in the new scheme and these are:

  • That all working age taxpayers pay something (limited to a maximum of 8.5 per cent for those currently eligible for 100 per cent support) and
  • That the second adult rebate is removed

Both of these principles received a majority of support when adding the responses of those who either strongly agreed or disagreed.