Governance & Transformation Cabinet Member – Minutes – 19 September 2016

20 (20) THE COUNCIL TAX SUPPORT SCHEME CONSULTATION – The Director of Policy and Resources submitted a report seeking approval of changes to the Council Tax Support Scheme and to consult on the changes.

Since 2013/14 the council had operated a local Council Tax Support Scheme which reduced the amount of council tax payable by working households on low incomes. It was part of wider welfare reforms introduced by the Welfare Act 2012 and it replaced the previous national Council Tax Benefit scheme.

The cost of the scheme would be met by the council and its major precepting bodies (the Police Commissioner and the Fire Authority). A transfer of funding from government was made to enable councils to continue to provide a level of support. However, it was now for the council to determine the nature of the scheme and the level of support it offered, within limits set in national legislation.

The report gave full details, including financial implications, of current scheme and proposed changes to the scheme.

If changes to the scheme were proposed, it would be necessary to carry out a public consultation.  The council would need to demonstrate that it had considered the impact of the proposals to ensure that they did not unfairly affect a particular group and that it had given due consideration to responses received.  In addition the Police Commissioner and the Fire Authority which precepted on the council also had to be consulted.

Resolved – That the draft Council Tax Support Scheme, as set out in paragraph 4.4 of the report and accompanying appendix, be approved for consultation.