What is this consultation about?
Each year the Council has to decide whether to change the Council Tax Reduction scheme for working age applicants in its area. This year the Council has decided that some minor changes should be made to bring the Council Tax Reduction scheme in line with the changes made by Central Government in Housing Benefit and Universal Credit.

Why is a change to the Council Tax Reduction scheme being considered?
Until April 2013 there was a national scheme called Council Tax Benefit. The Government made local Councils responsible for replacement schemes from 1 April 2013. As the Council is keen to keep Council Tax Reduction aligned with major benefits such as Housing Benefit and Universal Credit to assist in administration, this means that, as those benefits change, similar changes need to be made to the Council Tax Reduction scheme.

Who will this affect?
Working age households in the District who currently receive or will apply for Council Tax Reduction. Pension age households will not be affected by the changes as the Government dictates the terms of the scheme for these households.

Does the existing Council Tax Reduction Scheme have to be changed?
We have considered not making the proposed changes, however this will mean that the Council’s Council Tax Reduction Scheme will have different "rules" to those which apply to Housing Benefit.

Why does the Council not continue with the current scheme?
We have considered continuing with the current scheme. However, this would mean:

1. higher administration costs, as the Council Tax Reduction scheme would be out of line with Housing Benefit; and
2. the scheme would include, as income or capital, certain payments which are now disregarded from all other welfare benefits.

* 1. You must read the background information before you can complete the questionnaire. Please confirm you have read the background information about the Council Tax Reduction Scheme

* 2. Are you aged 18 or over?