A report, to be presented in a Cabinet meeting at Telford & Wrekin Council on 7 January 2016, will recommend changes to the existing Council Tax Support scheme introduced in April 2013.
The changes proposed to the current Council Tax Support scheme are:-
• Lowering the upper limit for the local Council Tax Support to those proposed by Government for benefits, and continuing to match the limits set by Government as they change. These limits are set to lower for couples and single parents whose children live with them to £20,000 (down from £26,000), and to £13,400 for single people (down from £18,200).
• The introduction of an estimated minimum weekly income of 30 hours per week at the National Living wage for people over 25 years old (or the National Minimum Wage for people under 25) who have been self employed for more than 12 months.
• The removal of the ‘Family Premium’ from the assessment of Council Tax Support, in line with the Government’s plans to remove it for new claims and new births within the assessment of Housing Benefit). This will not affect any current families who will continue to receive the Family Premium in their needs allowance.
The Council is also proposing to maintain a £30k hardship scheme to additionally support the most vulnerable customers.
A full public consultation on the proposed changes to the Council Tax Support scheme in Telford and Wrekin for 2016/17 was undertaken from 9 August to 23 October.
As well as consulting with local residents, consultation letters and information was sent specifically to the 500 customers who it is believed would be directly affected by the changes should they be introduced.
Consultation also took place directly with West Mercia Police and Shropshire Fire and Rescue, who are the major precepting authorities in the area, along with all Parish and Town Councils and key stakeholders such as the Citizen’s Advice Bureau (CAB) and social sector landlords.
Overwhelming support in favour of the proposed changes through the consultation was received. Of the 594 responses 78 percent agreed with the recommendation to introduce the changes to the scheme.
Should the recommendations be approved at the Cabinet meeting in January, and subsequently at the next Full Council meeting, the changes to the Council Tax Support scheme will be implemented on 1 April 2016.
Member since: 10th July 2012
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