Changes to the Council Tax Support scheme
Standard Council Tax Benefits which are currently common across the country are being replaced by Local Council Tax Support Schemes from April, 2013. This change is just one of many Welfare Reforms planned by the Government over the next few years.
The new Local Schemes and the rules on who can get help will be decided by local District Councils rather than national regulations.
One of the main reasons for the change is the Government’s decision to reduce public spending.
Currently £50m is spent annually on Council Tax Benefit in Lincolnshire. Nearly 66,000 households get some financial reduction in their Council Tax through this benefit. The new local Schemes will receive less money from the Government, which means that savings of about £6m have to be made by local authorities across the county next year.
Each Council will publish its draft Scheme for public consultation over the next couple of months.
Pensioners will be protected in the new local Schemes and should receive at least as much in Council Tax Benefit as they do now. However this could affect many working-age households who currently get some Council Tax Benefit in Lincolnshire.
Residents should contact us if they feel they may be affected by these proposed changes and look out for further information on the new schemes.
Lincolnshire has seven District Councils who are responsible for billing residents for Council Tax – these are Boston Borough Council, East Lindsey District Council, City of Lincoln Council, North Kesteven District Council, South Holland District Council, South Kesteven District Council and West Lindsey District Council.
Most of the money raised through Council Tax is passed over to Lincolnshire County Council and also the Police Authority who will be consulted by each billing authority about their local support scheme.
Further information about the Council Tax Support scheme is provided by the Department for Communities and Local Government on their website at http://www.communities.gov.uk/localgovernment/localgovernmentfinance/counciltax/counciltaxsupport/