Many thanks to one of our supporters for alerting us to this consultation by Torbay council on council tax. Its worth reading whether you are in Torbay or not because it gives us clues to the next set of horrors that will be visited on us by local councils. Torbay say:
Each year the Council has to decide whether to change the Council Tax Support Scheme for working age applicants in Torbay. This year we are proposing a set of changes to the current scheme, including some changes which will bring our support scheme in line with changes made by Central Government to Housing Benefit and Universal Credit.
In addition to this the Council will continue to face budget pressures over the next few years. Taking into account the income the council receives and what we spend on our services, we estimate there is a funding gap of £18.5 million between now and 2019/20. We need to ensure that we are able to provide the services which our communities need and value within the budget that we have. The proposed changes to our Council Tax Support Scheme will assist us with these budget pressures.
The consultation puts forward a set of scenarios around council tax payments. The main message is that there will be more increases. Other messages include financial penalties for those with more than two children, and financial penalties for anyone getting ‘carers allowance’
What is being proposed?
We are proposing to make ten changes that are listed below to the current scheme from 1 April 2017:
- Reducing the maximum level of support to 55% of the council tax charge
- Restrict the maximum level of support to the equivalent of a band C property charge
- Savings limit of £3,000
- Removal of the family premium
- Reducing backdating for new claims to one month
- Basing the reduction on a set minimum income for self-employed earners after one year’s self-employment
- Reducing the period a person can be absent from Great Britain and still receive a reduction to four weeks
- Removing the work related activity component for new ESA applicants
- Limiting the number of dependent children within the calculation to a maximum of two
- Removing entitlement to Severe Disability Premium where another person is paid Universal Credit (Carers Element)
The consultation closes 31st October, changes will be implemented on 1st April 2017
Link to consultation https://www.torbay.gov.uk/surveys/cts/ctsse.htm
For those not in Torbay, it might be worth seeing if your council has similar plans
People might also be interested in:https://dpac.uk.net/2016/07/hold-your-council-to-account-on-finances/