Consultation on council tax support for low-income East Devon families

PUBLISHED: 13:14 20 September 2017

East Devon District Council logo

East Devon District Council logo

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How much should tax payers contribute to the council tax bills of people on low incomes?

How much should tax payers contribute to the council tax bills of people on low incomes?

This is a question being asked as part of a consultation aimed at simplifying the Universal Credits systems.

Residents across the district have until October 22 to have their say on how much support, from East Devon District Council, should be offered to people on low incomes in the district.

A six-week consultation began earlier this month and seeks opinions on proposed changes to the working-age Council Tax Reduction Scheme.

The scheme, which is reviewed every year, sets out a framework on how much council tax support can be claimed by these households.

This year the council is holding a consultation on three proposed changes to bring the scheme in line with the Government’s latest welfare reforms to housing benefits and Universal Credit. The changes will not affect pensioners.

The first proposed change is to simplify the scheme for people receiving Universal Credit.

The second is to disregard the bereavement support payment from the calculation of council tax support. This will make is fairer to applicants who have recently lost a partner and align the scheme with changes already made to housing benefits.

The third is to disregard any charitable payments received from the recent tragedies in Manchester and London that have been given to applicants, so they can continue to receive council tax support.

The proposed changes will affect working age households in East Devon who receive or apply for council tax reduction from April 1, 2018.

The responses to the consultation will be available on the council’s website later this year and will help the authority in its final decision about the scheme which will be made no later than January 31, 2018.

Cllr Ian Thomas, who is responsible for finance, said: “We need to know how our residents want us to spend their council tax and what level of help we should give.”

Visit eastdevon.gov.uk/benefits-and-support/council-tax-support-scheme-201819-consultation to have your say and complete a questionnaire.

If you need a paper copy of the questionnaire, or a copy in any other format please contact the benefits team on 01395 571665.

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