RESIDENTS are being invited to have their say on Stratford District’s Local Council Tax Reduction Scheme.
This is the scheme funded by the district council to assist those members of the public who are financially unable to pay their council tax.
Government changes in 2013 meant that local authorities had to introduce their own council tax support scheme.
Stratford District Council’s own scheme has largely stayed the same with no change for current claimants and continuing to protect households on the lowest incomes as well as retaining all of the existing protections and providing additional support for war pensioners.
The District Council mitigated any loss in funding by introducing changes to discounts and exemptions for second homes and long term empty properties.
The Government has announced that it intends to further reduce the cost of welfare support budgets in the coming years, which will result in further funding reductions for the district council.
As a result the District Council has agreed to undergo an informal consultation exercise based on the following:
- Reducing the maximum level of support for working age applicants from 100 per cent to 80 per cent.
- Removing the Family Premium for all working age applicants.
- Reducing the period for which a person can be absent from Great Britain and still receive council tax reduction to four weeks.
- To remove the element of a Work Related Activity Component in the calculation of the current scheme for new Employment and Support Allowance applicants.
- To limit the number of dependant children within the calculation for Council Tax Reduction to a maximum of two.
- To remove entitlement to the Severe Disability Premium where another person is paid Universal Credit (Carers Element) to look after them.
The results of which will go to The Cabinet in November with the final scheme going to Council in December 2016.
The consultation started online on Wednesday 17th August and runs for eight weeks ending at 5pm on Wednesday 12th October.