People are being given the opportunity by Bath & North East Somerset Council to have their say over proposed changes to the new Council Tax Support scheme which is set to start from April 2013.
The Government is abolishing Council Tax Benefit across the UK from 2013/14 and will provide grants to local councils to design their own systems for rebating Council Tax to low income households. National funding for Council Tax support is being cut by 20%, equivalent to £1.5 million for our Council.
Councillor David Bellotti (Lib-Dem, Lyncombe), Cabinet Member for Community Resources, said, "Our proposals for consultation aim to protect the most vulnerable people and do not affect pensioners or Council Tax discounts, such as single person discounts. Bath & North East Somerset Council wants to hear the views of all local residents about the proposals to develop a fair system in response to this new Government legislation."
Key points of the local changes
- Support will be paid up to a maximum of around 80% of a Band D property bill, regardless of whether the property is in a higher band – currently, up to 100% of Council Tax bills can be paid by the benefit;
- People with capital / savings of over £6,000 won't be eligible for Council Tax Support. Previously this was £16,000.This does not include the value of the property you are living in;
- Non-dependant deductions will be removed – this will benefit parents with young adults in the household as their contribution won't be considered when calculating Council Tax Support. Child Benefit and child maintenance will be considered as income when calculating support, as they were before 2010.
Further details on the proposals can be found at www.bathnes.gov.uk/CTSchanges
A consultation is taking place until 2nd October 2012 on the proposals.
We will write directly to those people who currently claim Council Tax benefit; to explain how they can respond to the consultation and give us their views
All local residents, organisations and Parish Councils can also comment on the proposals by answering a general questionnaire found at www.bathnes.gov.uk/CTSchanges
Any resident without the internet can access the consultation for free via our self-service PC's available at the Bath One Stop Shop, The Hollies, Keynsham Riverside, and Council Libraries. Following the completion of the consultation a final policy will be developed which needs to be passed by full Council for agreement before January 31, 2013.
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