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Brentwood Borough Council

FOI 13573

Council Tax SupportScheme 2017/18

Request

I would like to request the following information relating to the local council tax support scheme (sometimes referred to as council tax reduction) in your area.
Please note that questions 1 and 2 apply to intended changes to the local council tax support scheme in your area in April 2017. Question 3 also applies to specific changes, but includes the option of specifying that the change may have happened in a previous year. Question 4 relates to the introduction of protections for vulnerable groups and to other exemptions.
Please answer questions 3 and 4 regardless of your answer to question 1.
If constraints on your time become an issue, I would also greatly appreciate that you
prioritise responding to questions 1-3. I would appreciate if you could let me know if you do not have time to answer question 4.
Changes to the scheme in 2017/18
1. Does your local authority intend to change its current council tax support scheme in April 2017? (yes/no/undecided)
2. If yes, please outline if and how any of the following components of the scheme will change in 2017/18:
Component of Council tax Support Scheme
Will this be different in 2017/18?
(Yes or No)
Details (such as reducing the savings limit to £6,000 or changing the taper rate to 25%)

Require all residents to pay at least some of their council tax liability, regardless of income


Cap the amount that can be claimed based on the band of the property


The rate at which council tax support is withdrawn (tapered) as income increases


The maximum capital/savings someone can have to be eligible for council tax support (savings limit)

The minimum amount of council tax support that can be claimed before it is withdrawn in full

Entitlement to a second adult rebate

Components of income that are included in the means-test (e.g. child maintenance, disability benefits)

The hardship funding available to affected residents

Other components of the scheme

Please answer questions 3 and 4 regardless of your answer to question 1.

3.Has your local authority introduced either of the following changes to its council tax support scheme, and if so, when?
Component of Council tax Support Scheme
When this was introduced/changed? (E.g. 2016/17, 2017/18)
Details (E.g. not for first year of trading; in line with Universal Credit)

Assumption of a minimum income for the self-employed


Removal of the Family Premium

Specific protections for vulnerable groups

4. Do protections or exemptions for any of the following groups in your local authority’s current council tax support scheme?
Protected or exempted group
Details  (E.g. in receipt of severe disability premium; in receipt of ESA; children under 5)

Families with a disabled person

Families with young children

Lone parents

Carers

Residents in particular council tax band (e.g. Band A)

Other

Response

1.
Does your local authority intend to change its current council tax support scheme in April 2017? (yes/no/undecided)  -  NO
2.
If yes, please outline if and how any of the following components of the scheme will change in 2017/18:
Component of Council tax Support Scheme -  N/A
Will this be different in 2017/18? -  NO
(Yes or No)
Details (such as reducing the savings limit to £6,000 or changing the taper rate to 25%) - N/A

Require all residents to pay at least some of their council tax liability, regardless of income -  this will remain the same as now.

Cap the amount that can be claimed based on the band of the property – this will remain the same

The rate at which council tax support is withdrawn (tapered) as income increases – this will remain the same

The maximum capital/savings someone can have to be eligible for council tax support (savings limit) – this will remain the same

The minimum amount of council tax support that can be claimed before it is withdrawn in full – this will remain the same

Entitlement to a second adult rebate – this will remain the same

Components of income that are included in the means-test (e.g. child maintenance, disability benefits) – this will remain the same

The hardship funding available to affected residents – this will remain the same – budget may change from April 2017 but no indication as to what this is yet.

Other components of the scheme – this will remain the same

Please answer questions 3 and 4 regardless of your answer to question 1.

3.
Has your local authority introduced either of the following changes to its council tax support scheme, and if so, when?
Component of Council tax Support Scheme
When this was introduced/changed? (E.g. 2016/17, 2017/18)
Details (E.g. not for first year of trading; in line with Universal Credit)

Assumption of a minimum income for the self-employed – This is implemented within the CTS scheme and have been using the minimum income floor for the self employed since 01/04/2013.

Removal of the Family Premium – This was not removed as part of the local CTS scheme - family premium continued to be included throughout all years 2013, 14, 15 and 16. 

Specific protections for vulnerable groups -

4.
Do protections or exemptions for any of the following groups in your local authority’s current council tax support scheme?
Protected or exempted group
Details
(E.g. in receipt of severe disability premium; in receipt of ESA; children under 5) – protected groups qualifies for 100% maximum award in all bands including F G and H.  Qualifies if in receipt of a: carer premium, disability premium, enhanced disability premium, severe disability premium, disability premium for dependants, enhanced disability for dependants, disabled earned disregard, CT disability reduction, war disablement pension, war widows pension, armed forces compensation scheme payment.

Families with a disabled person – if family qualify for any of the above they will fall to be in the protected group above.

Families with young children – no protections in place, normal CTS scheme applies depending if customer works more than 16 hours or not.

Lone parents – as above

Carers – depending if they receive a premium/benefit as above will depend what scheme they fall into.

Residents in particular council tax band (e.g. Band A) – depending on the scheme you fall into will depend on whether we can award LCTS or not – Enhanced scheme can be awarded to customers in bands A, B, C, D, E, F, G and H.  Working age employed scheme and working age other can only pay up to a band D, any band higher is excluded.