Mid Suffolk District Council has launched a consultation on changes to their Council Tax Reduction Scheme, which would make the scheme simpler and easier to access.
Mid Suffolk has unveiled proposals to change their Council Tax Reduction Scheme to reduce the burden of administration on residents accessing both the Council Tax Reduction and Housing Benefit schemes, treat customers’ circumstances the same for both schemes and continue to support those customers most in need.
The changes also aim to make provision for the introduction of Universal Credit and align the current scheme with the Housing Benefit scheme Mid Suffolk operates.
To take part in the consultation visit the consultation page.
The consultation runs until 27th November.
The current Council Tax Reduction Scheme – which replaced Council Tax Benefit in 2013 – includes a maximum discount of 95% for the least well off residents, requiring just 5% of the bill to be paid. This discount will remain in place under the new proposals.
Over the last 4 years there have been a number of changes to Housing Benefit legislation, resulting in some residents seeing their circumstances being treated differently in application for support with Council Tax compared to Housing Benefit. The upcoming introduction of Universal Credit will also significantly change how residents receive financial support.
Following the consultation a report will be produced and submitted to Mid Suffolk’s Full Council Meeting in December, proposing the final changes come into effect on 1 April 2018.
Cllr John Whitehead, Mid Suffolk District Council Cabinet Member for Finance, said: “Our Council Tax Reduction scheme helps residents in the greatest need and we’re proud to be able to support them in hard times, but sometimes the administration of different schemes can produce a headache for claimants when they least need them. These changes will ease that process and make the scheme easier to understand. Now is the chance for everyone to take a look at the proposals and let us know if we’ve got them right for our residents.”