Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council is consulting its residents on proposals to revise the current Council Tax Support Scheme. Please read the information below to find out more about the proposed changes, and what this could mean for you. We welcome all feedback and would therefore ask that you complete the survey below.

What is the Council Tax Support Scheme?

The Council Tax Support Scheme reduces the Council Tax bill for those on low income. The amount of support a household can get through the scheme is determined by a ‘means test’ – this means we look at the income and capital/savings of your household.

At the moment, the Council Tax Support Scheme within Blackburn with Darwen helps around 15,800 residents on a low income to pay their Council Tax.

What is this consultation about?

Each year the council has to decide whether to change the Council Tax Support scheme for working age claimants in its area. The council is proposing to change the scheme in 2019/20 to ensure it is simpler to understand, reduces administration costs, and saves money which can then be invested in front line services.

Persons of pension age will not be affected by the proposals.

What happens after the consultation period has ended?

The information collected from this consultation will be used by the Council to assist in making its decision on the changes to the Council Tax Support scheme from 1st April 2019.


The results from the consultation will be published later this year on our website. Any changes will be then be considered at a full council meeting in December 2018.  

To simplify the Council Tax Support scheme and save the council money, we propose not to rely on self-employed applicants declaring their income, and instead, intend to set a minimum income level.

Do you agree with the proposal to introduce a minimum income for self-employed claimants of £274.05 (35 hours multiplied by the National Living Wage)?  

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* 1. To simplify the Council Tax Support scheme and save the council money, we propose not to rely on self-employed applicants declaring their income, and instead, intend to set a minimum income level.

Do you agree with the proposal to introduce a minimum income for self-employed claimants of £274.05 (35 hours multiplied by the National Living Wage)?  

If there is a non-dependant (adult who doesn’t own or rent the property) living in the household, their income is taken into account when assessing a Council Tax Support claim. Deductions are then made based on the income of the person. At present there are four different deduction amounts that can be made.

Do you agree with the proposal to simplify the scheme and have one flat rate of deduction, for example, £5.00 per week?

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* 2. If there is a non-dependant (adult who doesn’t own or rent the property) living in the household, their income is taken into account when assessing a Council Tax Support claim. Deductions are then made based on the income of the person. At present there are four different deduction amounts that can be made.

Do you agree with the proposal to simplify the scheme and have one flat rate of deduction, for example, £5.00 per week?

Council Tax Support is awarded based on the council tax payable. Those in higher bands can therefore receive more Council Tax Support.

Do you agree with the proposal to limit the maximum award to that of a band B property?

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* 3. Council Tax Support is awarded based on the council tax payable. Those in higher bands can therefore receive more Council Tax Support.

Do you agree with the proposal to limit the maximum award to that of a band B property?

To simplify the administration, the council proposes to ignore small changes to a person’s Council Tax Support claim.

Do you agree with the proposal not to amend the Council Tax Support calculation if the adjustment is £2 per week or less?

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* 4. To simplify the administration, the council proposes to ignore small changes to a person’s Council Tax Support claim.

Do you agree with the proposal not to amend the Council Tax Support calculation if the adjustment is £2 per week or less?

If a single applicant does not qualify for Council Tax Support but has a 2nd adult in the property (such as, a boarder/son or daughter) on low income, a rebate of up to 25% can be applied to the bill.

Do you agree with the proposal to no longer award Council Tax Support in these circumstances?

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* 5. If a single applicant does not qualify for Council Tax Support but has a 2nd adult in the property (such as, a boarder/son or daughter) on low income, a rebate of up to 25% can be applied to the bill.

Do you agree with the proposal to no longer award Council Tax Support in these circumstances?

Council Tax Support can be awarded to people who are temporarily absent from their homes for certain reasons. We propose to change the time allowed in line with other welfare benefits, for example, temporarily abroad would reduce from 13 weeks allowed to 4 weeks.

Do you agree with the proposal to reduce the current period to 4 weeks?

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* 6. Council Tax Support can be awarded to people who are temporarily absent from their homes for certain reasons. We propose to change the time allowed in line with other welfare benefits, for example, temporarily abroad would reduce from 13 weeks allowed to 4 weeks.

Do you agree with the proposal to reduce the current period to 4 weeks?

Because the council is proposing to make changes to the Council Tax Support scheme it is considering extending discretionary support for the most vulnerable in the borough who may be affected by the changes.

Do you agree with the proposal to extend discretionary support?

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* 7. Because the council is proposing to make changes to the Council Tax Support scheme it is considering extending discretionary support for the most vulnerable in the borough who may be affected by the changes.

Do you agree with the proposal to extend discretionary support?

Currently, the maximum eligible Council Tax Support a working age person can receive is 80%.

Do you think the council should reduce the eligible level of support to a maximum of 75% rather than the current 80%?

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* 8. Currently, the maximum eligible Council Tax Support a working age person can receive is 80%.

Do you think the council should reduce the eligible level of support to a maximum of 75% rather than the current 80%?

Do you have any other suggestions how the Council Tax Support scheme can be changed?

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* 9. Do you have any other suggestions how the Council Tax Support scheme can be changed?

Do you have any suggestions how the council can make further budget savings?

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* 10. Do you have any suggestions how the council can make further budget savings?

Are you liable for Council Tax?

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* 11. Are you liable for Council Tax?

Do you currently receive Council Tax Support?

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* 12. Do you currently receive Council Tax Support?

What is your gender?

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* 13. What is your gender?

What is your age group?

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* 14. What is your age group?

Do you consider yourself as having a disability or long term physical or mental health condition?

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* 15. Do you consider yourself as having a disability or long term physical or mental health condition?

In which of the ethnic groups below do you feel you belong?

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* 16. In which of the ethnic groups below do you feel you belong?

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