Council Tax Benefit has been replaced by a new scheme called Council Tax Reduction. Whereas Council Tax Benefit was based on a national scheme that applied across England and Wales, this scheme has been designed and administered by local authorities.
As well as having to design a local scheme that is suitable for South Derbyshire, the Council were required to deliver the new scheme within a budget that has been reduced nationally by roughly ten per cent. Estimates suggest this represents a reduction of approximately £500,000 for South Derbyshire.
As part of the new scheme, the Government also required all councils to protect pensioners so that they receive the same level of support as they had under the Council Tax Benefit scheme. In addition, councils were also expected to protect other “vulnerable” groups.
This reduction in funding has meant that the Council have had to make some difficult decisions about who will receive financial support and how much.
Therefore, local consultation was undertaken to find out what the public thought before the local scheme was finalised.
The consultation took place between the 15th August 2012 and 7th November 2012 and during this period, the Council encouraged residents to share their views on the potential options as part of the consultation. The views of residents played an important part of the decision making process in deciding the final scheme.
In summary a scheme was decided that ensured protection to the following groups within the community:
These groups are not affected by the scheme, and will continue to receive the same level of support that was received under the Council Tax Benefit scheme.
Council Tax Reduction applicants not falling into these protected groups are to pay a certain amount of council tax towards their bill:
For further information regarding the Council Tax Reduction scheme, please see our frequently asked questions, which cover various topics, such as, "protected groups", "how to pay council tax", and further general advice.
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