Wirral Council is proposing to increase the amount of support people on low incomes receive to pay their Council Tax.
At the moment, people of working age who qualify for Council Tax support have to pay at least 22% towards the cost of their Council Tax. Under the new proposals, this would reduce, meaning that these households would only be required to pay a minimum of 12%.
Around 32,000 households in the borough currently claim Council Tax Support and, depending on their circumstances of these, around 9,000 may see a smaller Council Tax bill in the future. Implementing this reduction is expected to cost the Council around £800,000.
What would the change be?
In order to assist households in non-protected groups, it is proposed to reduce the minimum amount payable from 22% to 12%. This proposal would help those households most in need of financial assistance and, if adopted, would see additional reductions to Council Tax bills for some of the poorest households in the borough.
Does this affect every household that claims the reduction?
No, because the rules are not changing for those households in the protected groups or who are pensioners. It does affect every non-protected household who are claiming as the minimum amount they are expected to pay will be reduced under the proposal.
In summary the draft revised Council Tax Reduction Scheme proposes:
- to retain protection for pensioners as required by national government policy
- to retain all the existing protected groups
- to maintain the existing Council Tax Reduction Scheme rules relating to the assessment of both household’s composition and the treatment of income
- to reduce the minimum payment to be made by non-protected groups from 22% to 12%
- the proposed scheme will give greater help and support to low income households in the borough
What is this in actual numbers?
Of the 32,000 existing claimants approximately 23,000 will remain unaffected by the change. Approximately 9,000, however, will benefit from this additional help.
So how much better off will people be?
As a guide, overall non protected groups claiming Council Tax Reduction will be better off by roughly 10% of their charge. This will vary from household to household.