Reducing the Burden? Council Tax Proposals Will Go Before Isle of Wight Council

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Proposed changes to council tax benefit — aimed at saving the Isle of Wight Council almost £150,000 — will go before councillors tonight (Wednesday).

Since council tax benefit was outsourced by the government, the council has managed a Local Council Tax Support (LCTS) scheme to determine how much should be deducted from residents’ council tax bills.

Providing it is approved by full council, the scheme will come into force from 1 April 2020. It aims to ‘reduce the administrative burden’ of managing the scheme and bridge a funding gap of £3.24 million.

Those in receipt of Universal Credit and other certain benefits would receive a deduction on their council tax bill of between 30 per cent and 70 per cent.

Other reductions will vary depending on claimants’ living situation, dependents and income, and will fall into six bands.

For example, a single parent with two or more children, with an income of £210.01 to £260.00, could receive a 60 per cent council tax reduction.

The council said changes were needed following the introduction of Universal Credit. With Universal Credit reviews undertaken every month, it had created more administrative work.

It is hoped the new LCTS will simplify the service, saving the council £147,548.

Under the new system, a deduction of £2 per week will be made when an applicant has non-dependant people living with them.

Carer’s allowance will be disregarded, and not counted as income.

Council tax charges for 2020/21 have yet to be determined. The council is waiting for the government to decide on the maximum increase it can impose.