Residents to have their say on changes to the Council Tax Support scheme

Barnsley Council is proposing to make significant changes to their localised Council Tax Support scheme for working-age people from April 2020 and is encouraging residents to have their say on the proposed changes.

The proposed scheme seeks to better target support to those low-income households that need it the most. Anyone adversely affected by the new scheme will be contacted directly and offered support via the council’s discretionary relief scheme

Currently, those on the lowest income have a contribution of 30 per cent to pay towards their council tax. The proposed new scheme is more generous to those on the lowest incomes reducing the amount they have to pay towards their council tax. 

The proposed changes for the Council Tax support scheme are:

  • Entitlement to the scheme is based on an income grid which looks at the makeup of a household and their net income.
  • Council tax support is based on an income range that means people don’t need to notify the council of minor changes in their income.
  • The council will not need to take into account any Capital under £6,000. 
  • People with capital over £6,000 will no longer qualify for Council Tax Support.
  • No deductions will be made for additional adults living in the property.
  • Income from Carers Allowance and the Carer Element of Universal Credit will not be included in the total income received into the household.
  • Disability Living Allowance and Personal Independent Payments will not be included in the household income (as is under the current scheme).
  • A standard deduction of £25 from earned income for all residents, to replace the current deduction, which is based on personal circumstances. Meaning more people in employment will be better off.
  • A household makeup of up to two children will be used when calculating the amount of support people receive. There will be no additional allowance for households with three or more children.
  • Introduction of a minimum income for self-employed people who have been trading for more than one year. This will be 35 hours at the national living wage and 16 hours for lone parents.

Specific income isn’t taken into account under the current scheme such as Child Benefit, Disability Living Allowance, Personal Independence Payments, Attendance Allowance and War Pensions (up to current limits). It proposed this will remain the same.

Councillor Gardiner, cabinet spokesperson for corporate services, said: “We want to hear residents feedback on the proposals set for the Council Tax Scheme in April 2020. It is important that residents have their say on changes that will directly affect them.

“These proposed changes will maximise support available for those eligible to the scheme and seek to better target support to those low-income households that need it the most.  

For more information and to complete the survey, visit: barnsley.gov.uk/council-tax-support-survey. Alternatively, please call 01226 787376 to request a paper copy.    

Residents have from Monday 9 September until Sunday 27 October to complete the survey. 

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