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Howard and Byrne Solicitors, York - Criminal Defence Specialists

Changes to Council Tax Benefit

City of York Council

12:01am 27th February 2012

City of York Council’s Cabinet will be asked to consider and comment on government proposals to make key changes to Council Tax Benefits next month.

The briefing report will be considered at a Cabinet meeting on Tuesday 6 March, which provides key information on proposals to replace Council Tax Benefit (CTB) with Council Tax Support.

During the meeting Cabinet will discuss the new system, which plans to introduce changes to local support for Council Tax in April 2013.

Changes will include the amount of subsidy provided to local authorities, including York, which will see a reduction of 10 per cent relative to current expenditure on CTB.

Nationally this will mean a reduction of around £480 million a year and just over £1million in York.

New government proposals will protect pensioners’ entitlement to their current level of Council Tax Benefit, but could mean that the governments 10 per cent cut in funding will result in a 10 per cent or greater cut for other customers.

The government also proposes two additional principles to underpin local schemes, including:

  • Local authorities should also consider ensuring support for other vulnerable groups
  • Local schemes should support work incentives, and in particular avoid disincentives to move into work.

The report also confirms help with Council Tax will not become part of Universal Credit – the new benefit that amalgamates tax credits, out-of-work benefits and Housing Benefit – but will instead remain a local authority responsibility.

It also confirms the need for local authorities to save 10 per cent of current expenditure but, importantly, makes clear that pensioners will be excluded from the effect of these cuts.

The consultation period ended on 14 October 2011 and the government’s response to the consultation published on 19 December 2011 makes no changes to the scheme. 

The technical details including funding are not due until spring this year.

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