There is still time for people to share their views on the future of the Local Council Tax Support scheme.
The scheme provides support on the Island for around 7,000 working age people on certain benefits and low incomes – and since 2013 has been reviewed annually due to the continued reduction in grant funding the council receives from the government each year.
The council is therefore having to consider whether to make further changes to the scheme next year, and is asking people to share their views on the proposed changes.
A consultation was launched on 15th September and comes to an end at midnight on Thursday 10th November 2016. The Isle of Wight Council is seeking views on 7 possible changes that could be made to the scheme from April 2017 including implementing a number of national welfare benefit reforms into the scheme.
The changes for consideration are:
- Reducing the maximum level of Council Tax Reduction support from 80 per cent to either 75 per cent or 70 per cent;
- Reducing the period for which a person can be absent from Great Britain and still receive Council Tax Reduction, from 13 weeks to four weeks
- Removing the element of a Work Related Activity Component in the calculation of the current scheme for new Employment Support Allowance claimants;
- Limiting the number of dependent children within the calculation of Council Tax Reduction to a maximum of two for any new children born on or after 1 April 2017;
- Removing entitlement to the Severe Disability Premium where another person is paid Universal Credit (Carer’s Element)
- Limiting Council Tax Reduction to a maximum council tax band C charge
- Setting a minimum level of Council Tax Reduction support at £2 per week.
Different households could be affected in different ways depending on their individual circumstances. Case studies for each option are available alongside the consultation, online at www.iwight.com/lcts.
Following this consultation recommendations will be considered by the Full Council in January, with a view to bringing in changes from April 2017.
Views of all residents are being sought online at www.iwight.com/lcts. Paper copies of the survey are also available by calling 01983 823653.