Tag Archives: Council Tax

Council tax benefit changes…

Council Tax BenefitThe Government decided that Council Tax Benefit will end on 31st March 2013 and every Council must replace it with a new local scheme. The new scheme is called Council Tax Support.

The information on this page is reproduced from the Blaby District Council website. If you wish to view the original page on the District Council website, click here.

Councils will receive less money from the Government to pay for their new schemes. For Blaby District Council this means that we have to find savings of about £460,000.

When we designed our local scheme we had to make some difficult decisions about who we could help and how much Council Tax Support they could receive.

We consulted with existing working age benefit recipients, landlords, some pension age claimants and a range of community and welfare groups between 2nd August and 23rd November 2012.

This page provides some answers to some frequently asked questions about our local Council Tax Support scheme. This will help you to understand what is changing and how this may affect you.

 

What is Council Tax Benefit?

Council Tax Benefit is a way of helping people on a low income or who may be in receipt of other benefits (such as Income Support, Jobseekers Allowance or Pension Credit) to pay their Council Tax.

Currently people who are entitled to help can get benefit to pay for part or all of their Council Tax bill depending on their circumstances.

Council Tax Benefit

What is Blaby District Council’s local scheme?

We have based our local scheme broadly on the existing Council Tax Benefit scheme with some changes to help meet the reduction in funding from the Government. The local scheme includes the following changes for working age people:

  • Everyone will have to pay at least 8.5% of their Council Tax bill
  • Residents with income that is higher than the amount that the Government says they need to live will have a higher deduction made. Presently they lose 20p for every £1 over the living allowance, this will increase to 25p.
  • The Second Adult Rebate scheme will end (this scheme gives a reduction of up to 25% to anyone who is single but sharing their home with someone on a low income).

Will pensioners be affected by these changes?

No, these changes only affect working age people. The Government has set out rules to ensure that pensioners are protected and will not have their entitlement reduced under the new scheme.

Will you have to apply for this new scheme?

If you currently receive Council Tax Benefit (and continue to do so until 31st March 2013) you will not have to re-apply as you will be switched over to the new scheme.

How will the new Council Tax Support be paid?

The amount you are entitled to will be used to reduce your Council Tax liability and you will receive a Council Tax bill showing this reduced amount and how much you will have to pay.

How much Council Tax will I have to pay under the new Council Tax Support scheme?

In Blaby District all working age people will have to pay at least 8.5% of their Council Tax (even if they have not had anything to pay previously). This means that for most people of working age they will have to pay more than they do now.

Is there any extra help for people who are experiencing severe financial hardship and are vulnerable?

In the first year of this new scheme the council has set up a separate discretionary discount scheme to support local people experiencing severe financial hardship who need extra help to pay their Council Tax. People will have to apply for help from this scheme by contacting the Benefits Team on            0116 272 7510       in the first instance.

Council Tax Benefit

Contact us

Officer / Team Benefits Team
Postal address Blaby District Council
Council Offices
Desford Road
Narborough
Leicester
LE19 2EP
E-mail address ctbischanging@blaby.gov.uk
Telephone             0116 272 7510
Fax 0116 272 7591

If you need this information in other languages or formats (large print, Braille or audio), please let us know when you contact us.

===========================

Reproduced from Blaby District Council website page at
http://www.blaby.gov.uk/ccm/navigation/advice-and-benefits/council-tax/council-tax-benefit-is-changing/

Blaby District Council Tax frozen for third year in row

blaby signCouncillors at Blaby District Council have agreed to freeze council tax for the third year in a row.

This means people living in a Band D property will pay £137.78 a year for their district council services in 2013/14, equivalent to £2.64 a week. This is the same amount that was charged in 2010/11.

The tax freeze was agreed at a full council meeting on 21 February when the authority also set its budget for the next 12 months from 1 April 2013, which accommodates a reduction in core government funding of £331,000 or 7.4%, as well as significant changes to council tax support.

The budget sets out plans to maintain existing services within the available resources through a combination of service reviews, restructuring finances, the prudent use of reserves, and utilisation of New Homes Bonus grant to support core expenditure requirements.

Council Leader Ernie White said:

“The Council has been able to accommodate cuts in core government funding of just under £2.3m since 2010/11 without any detrimental impact on service delivery and we remain one of the lowest cost district councils in England.

“We will continue to invest in services that are valued by people in Blaby district and we are making sure vulnerable people are supported through these tough economic times.”

For more information on council tax visit www.blaby.gov.uk or see the leaflet which can be collected from the main council offices

Changes to Council Tax Benefit in Blaby district

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

Bank notes and pound coins

Changes to council tax benefit – residents urged to have their say

Bank notes and pound coinsResidents in Blaby district are being urged to have their say on how council tax support should be provided from April 2013.

Currently central government fully funds a national council tax benefit scheme, which supports residents on low incomes who need help to pay their council tax.

But that funding will be cut by 10% from next April, which means Blaby District Council will face a £460,000 shortfall in meeting current demands to pay benefits to residents.

Blaby District Council is seeking views from residents on the best way to achieve an affordable scheme that will continue to support the most vulnerable members of the community, but will also provide value-for-money and protect other services for all residents.

However the Government’s reforms will force the council to consider changing discounts and exemptions that are currently in place, including reductions for second homes and unoccupied properties.

Blaby District Council leader Ernie White said:

“The cuts to funding mean we have some tough decisions ahead, so we are urging residents to have their say and take part in the consultation. It’s vital to work out what is best for Blaby district, and also make sure our most vulnerable residents are not affected by the changes.”

The public consultation begins on Tuesday August 7 and will run until Friday September 28. It will be available online at www.blaby.gov.uk/ctbischanging

We will also be consulting with existing claimants and other interested parties.

Council tax support will replace council tax benefit as part of wider changes being implemented by central government to reform the benefit system and reduce worklessness.

For more information, visit www.blaby.gov.uk/ctbischanging, email ctbischanging@blaby.gov.uk or call 0116 272 7510.

Council tax frozen for second year in Blaby district

Councillors at Blaby District Council have agreed to freeze council tax for the second year in a row.

This means people living in a Band D property will pay an average of £137.78 in 2012/13 for their district council services, or £2.64 a week.

The tax freeze was agreed at a full council meeting on February 23 when the authority also set its budget for the next 12 months from April 1, which included measures to reduce spending by £489,000.

The budget sets out plans to protect frontline services whilst reducing annual revenue spending from £9.6 million to £9.1 million. This has been achieved by reviewing services to identify savings, cutting energy costs and maximising income wherever possible and appropriate.

Significant capital projects were also announced including investment in leisure facilities at the Pavilion in Huncote, launching a new website to allow people to access more services online and continued financial support for disability grants.

Council leader Ernie White said:

 “Although we still face many challenges this budget represents a significant achievement because we have managed to balance our books whilst protecting key frontline services.

“We continue to invest in services that are valued by people in Blaby district and we are making sure vulnerable people are supported through these tough economic times.”

Cllr Ernie White

The Council has reduced its spending by almost £1.5 million (or 13 per cent) over the last two financial years.