Trafford Council are consulting on changes to the scheme to increase the support for low income families. Trafford’s current working age CTS scheme has the following main attributes:
- The maximum award payable is 100% of the charge up to a band D property, subject to any non-dependent deductions.
- The rate at which benefit is withdrawn (known as the income taper) is 30%.
- Deductions relating to adults in the property (non-dependents) are 20% higher than the national rates and a new deduction for those not working and under 25 was introduced.
- Child care disregard costs are higher than the national rates, meaning we allow more.
- The minimum level of award is set at £5 per week.
- In line with Universal Credit a minimum income is assumed for those self-employed, including directors, who have been trading for more than 12 months.
- Claimants and/or their partners who receive the middle or high rate of Disability Living Allowance for Care or Mobility are protected.
- Households who have a dependent child under 5 years old do not have their Child Benefit income taken in to account.
- War Pensions and War Widows Pensions are disregarded as income.
- Eight week ‘run on’ of previous entitlement for the long term unemployed starting work.
Unlike some Councils, Trafford Council’s scheme assesses CTS based on the full bill which means the most vulnerable receive 100% support with no Council Tax to pay (subject to their individual circumstances). In addition, the Trafford scheme has added incentives for those starting work.
Why are we doing this?
The Council’s schemes key aims remains that those least able to pay would receive full CTS support and that those unable to work due to disability would be protected from any reduction under the new scheme. As part of this on-going commitment, the Council have carried out analysis of the impacts of new Welfare Reform changes, listened to feedback from partners and stakeholders as well as review existing low income household claims and has identified that minimal changes to the scheme at low cost will enhance the Council’s original intention.
Who will be affected if the proposals are implemented?
Pensioners are not affected.
The changes the Council would like to propose are:
- To remove the a minimum award of £5 per week.
- To removing the non-dependant deduction for young adults (18-24) in receipt of benefits/out of work/on apprenticeships.
- To treat a Universal Credit (UC) notification from the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) as a claim for CTS.
When will the proposals be effective from if implemented?
The changes will be effective from 1 April 2019 onwards.
Have your say: complete the Council Tax Support (CTS) Consultation 2019 Survey
Posted on Friday 10th August 2018