The Council Tax Support Scheme is a way of helping people on low or no income pay their Council Tax bill.
Each year the Council must decide whether to change the scheme for working age applicants in the area. We are consulting now on a new Local Council Tax Support scheme aimed at helping more people of working age in the Borough who are living on low incomes.
Pensioners are not affected by changes made to the local scheme as the rules for applicants of pension age continue to be set by Central Government. Pensioners can continue to get up to 100% discount on their Council Tax.
Boston’s scheme for working age applicants has been based broadly on the following principles:-
- It protects people over pension age (as prescribed by Government), and all War Disablement Pensioners, War Widows and War Widowers.
- It is means-tested and allows for vulnerability within the calculation, including people with children, disabilities or caring responsibilities.
- The maximum support available to working age applicants is 75%, meaning that all working age households have to pay at least 25% towards their Council Tax.
The overall cost of the scheme currently is around £3.6million, and we pay Council Tax Support to around 2,170 working age households.
We are proposing to keep the Council Tax Support scheme the same for 2023/24 as it is in 2022/23, but are seeking views on whether we should up-rate our scheme for working age claimants in line with the Department for Work and Pensions provisions for Housing Benefit. This will apply to all Council Tax Support claimants and will keep the local Council Tax Support scheme aligned with national welfare provisions.
Retaining the main characteristics of our current Council Tax Support scheme means there will be no major changes to the support a customer would receive.
Cllr Jonathan Noble, Portfolio Holder for Finance at Boston Borough Council, said: “This scheme focusses on the ability to pay, ensuring that all our residents have the support they need if required.
“It is important that we gather views, not just from other public bodies but most importantly from the residents and claimants themselves, to make sure that we are bringing forward the best possible scheme for the Borough.
“That is why we are asking people to participate in this consultation which we have launched.”
Please give your views through The Local Council Tax Support Scheme 2023/24 consultation by 23:59 on Friday 30th September 2022. If you would like a paper copy please email firstname.lastname@example.org