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Consultations: Ashford Borough Council

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Council tax support 2014-15 - reviewing our local scheme

Last year’s scheme
Last year we asked you to help us determine a localised council tax support system, which we were required by central government to set up when council tax benefit was abolished.

This meant that some people had to pay a contribution towards their council tax for the first time. However, as a direct result of your comments we amended our proposed option and set up a system that incentivised working-age claimants to return to work and offered additional protection (requiring a contribution of 5%) to disabled claimants and non-residential carers. We are the only local authority in Kent to offer protection to disabled claimants. Pensioner claimants remain unaffected by the introduction of council tax support.

The previous consultation
Your comments helped us to settle at a scheme where working-age claimants were going to pay a contribution of 17.5% towards their council tax bills, with disabled and non-residential carers protected further, as described above.

However, following the conclusion of our consultation, central government offered us funding in order to reduce the contribution required to 8.5% for the first, transitional year.

Looking ahead to this financial year
We said we would review our local system at the end of the first year and ask you about how we proceed with plans for the 2014-15 financial year.

Once again we want a system that is as fair as possible and have already made some assumptions about the scheme, such as reducing the amount of council tax support for working-age claimants, and not reducing other services to pay for the shortfall in funding from central government.

The good news is that we have been able to mitigate against increasing council tax support contributions from 8.5% to 17.5% and are currently proposing (subject to the acceptance of our cabinet members) that the contribution that will be made by working-age claimants will be 10% for the 2014-15 financial year. This is an increase of 1.5%, or less than 50p per week in the vast majority of cases.

Disabled claimants and non-residential carers will receive the same protection (only a 5% contribution required) as they did this year. Pensioner claimants remain unaffected and exemptions that have affected private landlords and those who own second homes, which have helped to fund elements of the scheme, also remain unchanged for the second year of the scheme.

Please refer to our website for information about council tax support and the full proposals for the 2014-15 financial year.

This consultation has now closed.

Consultation Summary

NameCouncil tax support 2014-15 - reviewing our local scheme
DescriptionWe are reviewing our local council tax support scheme for the 2014-15 financial year.
DatesFrom 28 Nov 2013 at 09:00 to 9 Jan 2014 at 17:00. The results were published on 16 Jan 2014.