A new Council Tax Support Scheme is being launched to replace Council Tax Benefit in Blaby district on April 1, 2013.
Blaby District Council has developed the scheme after the government cut by £460,000 the amount the Council receives to help pay for benefits and abolished Council Tax Benefit.
For the 5385 claimants in Blaby district, it means anyone of working age will have to pay up to 8.5% of their Council Tax bill. Pensioners will not be affected by these changes.
Councillor John Hudson, portfolio holder for Finance, Efficiency and Assets at Blaby District Council, said: “The challenge we faced was to design a scheme that would support the most vulnerable members of the community but also provide value for money and protect other services for all our residents.
“Through a public consultation we have taken on board the views of our residents and key stakeholders and used this to help develop the new scheme. We understand the changes will not be easy for some members of the community and we will be offering help and support to those affected by this and other welfare reforms.”
From April 1, 2013, there will be other changes to the way Council Tax Support is administered in Blaby district:
- Second adult rebate is being abolished.
- Anyone whose income is over their needs allowance, their benefit is reduced by 20p for every £1. Blaby District Council is to increase this to 25p.
- Property owners, whose property is unoccupied and undergoing major repairs/structural work, will now get a 50% discount for 12 months instead of a full discount.
- Property owners, whose property is unoccupied, will get a 100% discount for 7 days and then a 50% discount for the remainder of the first six months.
The Council Tax Discretionary Discount, a county wide initiative funded by local authorities, Leicestershire County Council, The Officer of the Police and Crime Commissioner, and Leicestershire Fire and Rescue Service, has been developed to ensure people who are experiencing severe financial problems can apply for short term help.
Changes to Council Tax Benefit are part of a wider raft of welfare reforms, which also includes changes to the way Housing Benefit is calculated based on under-occupancy– otherwise known as “the bedroom tax”.
For more information visit www.blaby.gov.uk/advice-and-benefitsor call 0116 272 7510