Warrington Borough Council is asking residents for their views on proposed changes to the Local Council Tax Support Scheme.
Council Tax Support is a Council Tax discount, which is awarded based on the income of individual households. Each year the local authority, in consultation with local people, has to decide whether to make changes to the scheme for working age applicants.
This year, the council is consulting on changes that could be made – with effect from April 2018 – to bring the Council Tax Support scheme in-line with welfare changes made by Central Government.
The Council is keen to keep its Council Tax Support scheme aligned with welfare benefits such as Housing Benefit and Universal Credit. As those benefits change, similar changes need to be made to the Council Tax Support scheme.
The proposals affect working age households in Warrington who currently receive or may apply for Council Tax Support. Pensionable age households will not be affected, as Central Government prescribes the Council Tax Support scheme.
Warrington Borough Council’s executive board member for corporate finance, Cllr Russ Bowden, said: “We would encourage residents to get involved in this consultation, to ensure the Council Tax Support Scheme meets the needs of our residents and reflects the changes made by the Government in recent years.
“If these proposed changes could impact on you, it’s really important you get involved in the consultation, have your say and help shape the council’s decision.”
The options being considered by the council are:
• Fixed period assessments
• Introducing an income banded scheme
• Amending the scheme for working age claimants
• Amending the scheme with changes made to housing benefit rules
• Retaining the current council tax scheme
You can take part in the consultation by completing the online survey. Visit www.warrington.gov.uk and type ‘Local Council Tax Support Scheme’ into the search box.
You can also get involved by emailing your views to firstname.lastname@example.org, downloading, completing and returning a paper copy, or writing to the council at: Council Tax Support Scheme Consultation, New Town House, Buttermarket Street, Warrington, WA1 2NH.
The information from the consultation will be used to assist the council in making its decision on the changes to the Council Tax Support scheme from 1 April 2018.
The results from the consultation will be published later this year on the council’s website and the executive board will also receive a report of findings and recommendations. A final decision on the scheme will be made by the council no later than January 2018.
The closing date for responses for the consultation is 5pm on Wednesday 8 November 2017.