MSE News: Council tax benefit could drop 20%

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Benefits & Tax Credits
27 replies 5.5K views
Former_MSE_HelenFormer_MSE_Helen
2.4K Posts
edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Benefits & Tax Credits
This is the discussion thread for the following MSE News Story:

"The Government has released proposals for a new localised council tax support scheme that could leave many getting less ..."
Read the full story:
Council tax benefit could drop 20%


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Replies

  • At the moment there does not appear to be enough information on which to make comment. This thread, and it's title, appears to be deliberately attempting to incite fear among those that are in receipt of council tax. Besides which, shouldn't this be discussed somewhere else? I thought the benefit board was about helping people maximise their benefits - not discuss proposed changes.
  • edited 26 August 2011 at 4:24PM
    CISCIS Forumite
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    edited 26 August 2011 at 4:24PM
    I had a read though the consultation document and couldn't see much other a very basic idea on what the scheme would achieve, I cant see any deeper details that would show the calculations required before someone can quote a 20% cut.

    I've been to several meetings where the subject has come up (mainly with the people who have dealt with the consultation process) and they've not been given any figures on how the calculations would work (at leats not up until a few weeks ago).
    I no longer work in Council Tax Recovery but instead work as a specialist Council Tax paralegal assisting landlords and Council Tax payers with council tax disputes and valuation tribunals. My views are my own reading of the law and you should always check with the local authority in question.
  • rogerblackrogerblack Forumite
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    CIS wrote: »
    I had a read though the consultation document and couldn't see much other a very basic idea on what the scheme would achieve, I cant see any deeper details that would show the calculations required before someone can quote a 20% cut.

    To quote from the consultation document ' In future the funding to be distributed to local authorities will be cash limited and will be paid from the Departmental Expenditure Limit budget of the Department for Communities and Local Government. Moreover, the amount to be made available will be reduced by 10 per cent. The Department expects to deliver this money to local authorities as grant.'

    So, funding from central government is reduced by 10%.
    It's then put in an un-ring-fenced budget, so councils may be tempted to further dip into this.
    The councils then have to setup and deliver a fair, equitable system for assessing who this 10+% cut falls on, which will take some funds of its own.

    It's also fairly unequal across the country.
    If you express it in pounds/head terms, the city of london gets a 3 pound reduction, and Haringey gets 24 pounds less per year.

    Some councils have lots of 'easy' targets - if they have lots of second home owners, then reducing or eliminating the discount might be one option.
    If on the other hand, it's a deprived borough, choices get harder.

    Then there are gaps that the consultation fails to cover.
    What about people moving between authorities with differnet criteria?

    And the 20% figure comes from the fact that pensioners and 'vulnerable people' (those on ESA for example) are assumed to be protected, so the burden falls disproportionately on working people with older children, the single, and childless couples.
  • edited 26 August 2011 at 5:17PM
    CISCIS Forumite
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    edited 26 August 2011 at 5:17PM
    Moreover, the amount to be made available will be reduced by 10 per cent. The Department expects to deliver this money to local authorities as grant.'
    It will but you cant make a straight inference from that.
    And the 20% figure comes from the fact that pensioners and 'vulnerable people' (those on ESA for example) are assumed to be protected, so the burden falls disproportionately on working people with older children, the single, and childless couples.
    You cant just double the figures like that with no real basis, that figure has been doubled to try and introduce a scare factor. At this stage the figure may be 20% or may easily be less. To be honest the vast majority of CTB is paid to those on other benefits and over pension age so the % on the rest may be even higher but its far too early to be quoting figures.
    Some councils have lots of 'easy' targets - if they have lots of second home owners, then reducing or eliminating the discount might be one option.
    That would require a change in the regulations.

    Personally I would remove exemption given to students (Class N) and replace it with a discount - say 75%.
    I no longer work in Council Tax Recovery but instead work as a specialist Council Tax paralegal assisting landlords and Council Tax payers with council tax disputes and valuation tribunals. My views are my own reading of the law and you should always check with the local authority in question.
  • CISCIS Forumite
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    DWP confirm that the average award is £15.81 per week,

    5.85 million claim council tax benefit of which at least 75% are pensioners, so that leaves about 1.4 million people who dont have preserved pensioner awards.

    The week budget for CTB is £81,500,00 so 10% would be £8,100,000.

    The amount of CTB paid to those under pension age is about £12,100,000 per week. If the £8,100,000 is taken from this then that reduces the weekly CTB pool to £4,000,000 for this group.

    This makes the payable CTB in this group around £2.75 per week(£4,000,000 / 1,460,000).

    The award for those people is reduced by approx 83% , a big difference from 20%.

    What this shows is that the figures can be used to a totally different figure to that quoted and no doubt can be made to both lower and higher drops.
    I no longer work in Council Tax Recovery but instead work as a specialist Council Tax paralegal assisting landlords and Council Tax payers with council tax disputes and valuation tribunals. My views are my own reading of the law and you should always check with the local authority in question.
  • akin_drum wrote: »
    At the moment there does not appear to be enough information on which to make comment. This thread, and it's title, appears to be deliberately attempting to incite fear among those that are in receipt of council tax. Besides which, shouldn't this be discussed somewhere else? I thought the benefit board was about helping people maximise their benefits - not discuss proposed changes.

    I agree 100%,the thread title reads like a benefits and work email title !
    it seems that mse towers are entitled to break the rules on this
    forum,the rest of us would see a simlar thread despatched to DT pdq!

    and as you rightly point out there is very little information to go on...yet
  • I have to agree with other posters - this is a disappointing story bordering on scare-mongering.

    I am a Revenues and Benefits Officer at a Local Council, in benefits I calculate Housing and Council Tax benefit and in revenues I administrate council tax accounts.

    And.... I have nothing of any use to add to this thread!

    We are sent emails/updates on a regular basis from a number of different sources regarding the changes proposed to the benefit system and the only conclusion we are able to reach so far is.... No one's got a clue! There are a lot of vague papers and proposals and half hearted ideas and it would seem nothing has been decided firmly (although the government plans to put this all through in 2013 - not without making a total mess they won't!).

    For those on council tax benefit I would take no notice of this 'story' yet - there is not enough information to reach any conclusions at all.
    :) Trying to be good and watch the pennies, but guilty of falling off the wagon every so often! :p
  • CISCIS Forumite
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    We are sent emails/updates on a regular basis from a number of different sources regarding the changes proposed to the benefit system and the only conclusion we are able to reach so far is.... No one's got a clue!

    Pretty much the same story in my dept.
    I no longer work in Council Tax Recovery but instead work as a specialist Council Tax paralegal assisting landlords and Council Tax payers with council tax disputes and valuation tribunals. My views are my own reading of the law and you should always check with the local authority in question.
  • Where does localisation come into it?
    I thought council tax was already a localised benefit, as you dont claim from the 'dwp' you claim from your local council surely?
    ie - its already localised.
    [greenhighlight]but it matters when the most senior politician in the land is happy to use language and examples that are simply not true.
    [/greenhighlight][redtitle]
    The impact of this is to stigmatise people on benefits,
    and we should be deeply worried about that
    [/redtitle](house of lords debate, talking about Cameron)
  • rogerblack wrote: »
    T

    And the 20% figure comes from the fact that pensioners and 'vulnerable people' (those on ESA for example) are assumed to be protected, so the burden falls disproportionately on working people with older children, the single, and childless couples.

    I would be very surprised if the government classified anyone on ESA as vunerable. They didnt regard people on ESA as being vunerable, or even disabled enough to be exempt from the benefit caps for example.
    [greenhighlight]but it matters when the most senior politician in the land is happy to use language and examples that are simply not true.
    [/greenhighlight][redtitle]
    The impact of this is to stigmatise people on benefits,
    and we should be deeply worried about that
    [/redtitle](house of lords debate, talking about Cameron)
This discussion has been closed.
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