Consultations - Council Tax Support Scheme 2012

Who can get involved? Everyone; we would specifically like to hear from people who will be directly affected by a change in the level of council tax benefit they receive.
Start date 28 August 2012
Closing date 26 October 2012
Service delivery area Revenues and Benefits Services
Reason for consultation As part of the Government’s Welfare Reforms and specifically the Local Government Finance Bill 2011, the current Council Tax Benefit scheme is to be abolished and replaced by a localised Council Tax Support scheme. Each Local Billing Authority is under a duty to create a local council tax reduction scheme by 31st January 2013, publish a draft scheme and consult on this scheme with persons it considers likely to have an interest in it.

A central principle of the new scheme is that it will delivery a 10% saving to the budget currently spent on Council Tax Benefit and the Best Value Duty sets out the expectations of local authorities working with voluntary and community groups when facing difficult funding decisions. The scheme should give thought to protecting those deemed as vulnerable from any reduction in the support they can receive but any protection applied to certain groups increases the level of reduction that will be applied to all other customers.

We will seek to investigate local opinion on the draft scheme in it’s entirety with focus on the key principles of the scheme and effects (for example, key principle that the reduction should be applied fairly to all customers, savings cut off will be reduced from £16K to £6K). The draft scheme will define “vulnerable” for the purposes of the localised scheme and also specify the level of reduction that will be applied to all other customers as a consequence so we will seek opinion on whether the definition of vulnerable is appropriate, proportionate and sufficient.
Overview The consultation details the principles, and proposed actions to create and administer Council Tax Support from April 2013.
How to get involved? The consultation invites responses electronically; by direct feedback and survey, either online or in paper format; by survey and post; by telephone and by attending an information event for either members of the public or other stakeholders.

The event will be held 26 September at 6pm at Civic Offices, Coach Central, Telford, TF3 4HD. Interested parties an confirm their attendance by contacting 01952 384957.
Complete online survey
What happens next? The consultation responses will be collated and presented for consideration by the Council. The results of the consultation will be published on the website later this year. The decision on the final Council Tax Support scheme will be made no later than 31 January 2013.
Join the Community Panel