Council Tax Reduction Scheme
The Council Tax consultation is now closed
Our consultation about changes to Council Tax Benefit is now closed. Thank you to everyone who commented on our draft scheme.
The consultation on our proposed Council Tax Reduction Scheme ended on 19 November 2012 and a decision was made by Full Council on 17 January 2013.
- For copies of the reports please see the Full Council meeting page.
- See the Scheme for Council Tax Support page for details of the current scheme
Council Tax Benefit is being abolished
Find out more about the changes and the consultation below
If you receive Council Tax support and are of working age its important that you read the information below and tell us what you think about the changes.
You will be affected by these changes even if you have never paid council tax before.
- What is Council Tax?
- What is Council Tax Benefit?
- What's changing?
- Our proposals
- How will the changes affect you?
- Who was consulted?
- When does the consultation end?
- What are the next steps
The Government is abolishing the current Council Tax Benefit from 1 April 2013. The Government has demanded that councils replace the benefit with a new Council Tax Reduction Scheme. The Government will significantly cut funding for the new benefit.
Pensioners will be protected from these changes. If you are a pensioner you will receive the same level of support.
Early estimates suggest that the cut will leave Haringey with an actual shortfall in funding of around 20% This means Haringey claimants will lose on average approximately £1 in every £5 of support they currently receive in Council Tax Benefit.
The Council is required to consult on its proposals and have a scheme in place by 31 January 2013 to start by 1 April 2013.
Council Tax is based on the value of your property (in one of eight bands) on 1 April 1991. It part funds local services provided by the council. The level of tax a household is required to pay is based on the rate of Council Tax and the allocated band of the property you live in; less any discounts or exemptions for which you qualify.
As a London Borough we also collect money for the Mayor of London to provide police, fire and public transport services.
Council Tax Benefit is a way of helping people on low or no income pay their Council Tax bill.
Currently recipients are either awarded benefit for their whole Council Tax Bill or for just a part of it - anything from 1 penny upwards.
In Haringey, 36,000 residents (one in three households) qualify for Council Tax Benefit. Of these 25,560 households - two in three recipients - currently receive complete support of 100% Council Tax Benefit, meaning they don't pay anything towards their Council Tax bill.
At present the Government gives us the money we need to fund Council Tax Benefit in Haringey. From next April we must implement a new Council Tax Reduction Scheme. We'll receive much less money for the new Scheme and once we factor in the increasing number of people claiming benefit and the cost of protecting our pensioners, we estimate the shortfall could be as much as £5.7 million next year and this could rise in later years.
Although pensioners will move on to the new Local Council Tax Reduction Scheme they will receive the same amount of support they would have received under the current Council Tax Benefit regulations.
That means that the introduction of a Local Council Tax Reduction Scheme in Haringey will directly affect the assistance provided to everyone below pensionable age that currently receives Council Tax Benefit.
The Government has also told us that any increase in the number of claims will have to be paid for locally.
Our preferred approach is to keep the current rules to decide how much support claimants should receive. Our proposed Local Council Tax Reduction Scheme seeks to apply the Government cut in Council Tax funds as fairly as possible. We believe the fairest way to do this is to:
- Reduce payments to all working age claimants by an equal flat proportion in line with the reduction in Government funding. This is expected to be approximately 20%. This means that every household of working age would have to pay something towards their Council Tax bill
- Reduce the amount of savings and investments people are allowed to have and still be entitled to claim from £16,000 to £10,000
- Remove entitlement if less than a £1 per week is currently awarded
- Reduce the maximum period to back date any claims
These proposed changes will spread the Government's reduction in funding across everyone of working age who qualifies for a council tax reduction.
We also have to decide if certain groups should be protected from any changes we make and continue to get the same level of support as they do now. Doing this would mean that other claimants would get even less support.
Our proposal is subject to consultation. We may need to adjust our proposals depending on future funding announcements and significant changes in claimant numbers.
A 20% reduction to Council Tax Benefit recipients of working age would mean that every household of working age has to pay something towards their council tax bill. It would mean that Haringey claimants would lose on average approximately £1 in every £5 of support they currently receive in Council Tax Benefit. For example, a recipient of 100% Council Tax Benefit would receive an 80% reduction in their bill. For a claimant in a Band D property this would mean they would have their benefit reduced by £298.21 a year. This is money they would need to pay towards their annual council tax bill of £1491.04. This equates to £5.73 a week.
The table below shows the council tax charge for each band and the additional amount you will need to pay as a result of the changes if you are a recipient of 100% Council Tax Benefits:
|Band||Council Tax Charge||Previous amount paid if on full Council Tax Benefit||Amount to pay per year as a result of the new scheme (20% of the full Council Tax Bill)||Amount to pay per week as a result of the new scheme (20% of the full Council Tax bill)|
If you currently have savings and investments over £10,000 you would no longer be entitled to any support towards your Council Tax bill.
If you receive entitlement of less than £1 per week you would no longer be entitled to any support towards your Council Tax bill.
Under the proposals, new request for support or changes to existing claims will need to be notified to the Council as soon as possible as we are looking to reduce the maximum period to backdate any claims.
If you are currently in receipt of Council Tax Benefit you do not need to reapply, we will automatically transfer your claim to the new scheme.
- All residents
- All Council Tax Benefit recipients
- All voluntary and community sector organisations that provide support to people receiving Council Tax Benefit or have an interest in the level of Council Tax Benefit provided by the Council
- All landlords
Our consultation ended on 19 November 2012.
We will publish the results of this consultation and the following steps on these web pages.
All responses received will be treated confidentially and only used to help shape the Local Council Tax Reduction Scheme we adopt. We will NOT use any personal information to identify your response and we will NOT use personal information when analysing and reporting the responses.
If you have any concerns about Council Tax or difficulties paying your Tax its important that you let us know as soon as possible. You can find advice, support and information on our Council Tax pages or by calling 020 8489 1000 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Confidential debt counselling is available form Citizens Advice Bureau at 551b Tottenham High Road, N17 6SB and 14a Willoughby Road, N8. For information and opening hours, call 0844 826 9715.
Page last updated:
Tell us what you think about this page
Please use this space to tell us how we can improve this page, or the website in general.
If you have a service problem or complaint you need help with then please visit our contact pages.
* = response required