Consultation begins on changes to Council Tax Reduction Scheme

Posted on: 27 June 2016

A consultation has started on proposed changes to a Council Tax Reduction Scheme.

North Devon Council, along with other Devon councils, is carrying out the consultation on potential changes to their scheme which could take place from April 2017. It is part of an annual review to decide how much in council tax reduction to give working age people who are on low incomes.

The council is proposing a number of changes, including:

• limiting the number of dependent children within the calculation to a maximum of two
• reducing the period a person can be absent from Great Britain and still receive a reduction to four weeks
• basing the reduction on a set minimum income for self-employed earners after one year’s self-employment
• reducing backdating for new claims to one month

The proposed changes are to bring the council’s scheme in line with those being made by Central Government in Housing Benefit and Universal Credit.

Executive member for resources and asset utilisation, Councillor Mike Harrison, said: “The proposed changes should make it easier and simpler for applicants to understand our scheme, because it will be similar to Housing Benefit and Universal Credit. The consultation is an opportunity for us to find out what local residents think about the proposed changes. These views will then be taken into account when deciding whether the changes should be made, so it’s important we gather as much feedback as possible.”

Local people have until 4 September to take part in the consultation, which is available online.

Paper copies are also available at any of the council offices:

• Lynton House, Commercial Road, Barnstaple, EX31 1DG
• The Ilfracombe Centre, 44 High Street, Ilfracombe, EX34 9QB
• The Amory Centre, 125 East Street, South Molton, EX36 3BU

The council will write to anybody in receipt of Council Tax Reduction who would be affected by any of the changes.

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