Council Tax Support has replaced Council Tax Benefit
The Government abolished Council Tax Benefit at the end of March 2013. It was replaced by a new scheme called Council Tax Support. Each Council had to design its own scheme which needed to take into account that the funding from the Government had been reduced by 10%
Barnet Council has tried to spread the burden of this cut as fairly as possible and so there are also changes to Council Tax discounts and exemptions which have been used to minimise the funding gap.
After consultation with residents, the Council approved its own local Council Tax Support scheme on 22 January 2013. Compared to the old Council Tax Benefit scheme the key changes are
- Pensioners will continue to be treated as they were under the Council Tax Benefit scheme and will generally not pay any more than at present
- Everyone of working age has to pay a minimum contribution of 8.5% of their Council Tax liability unless they are in a protected group. (War pensioners, war widow(er)s and people who receive Armed Forces compensation scheme payments will not have to pay the minimum contribution).
- Non-dependant charges for working age customers will be increased slightly and there will be fewer bands
- Second Adult Rebates was abolished for working age customers. This was a form of Council Tax Benefit designed to help taxpayers who lost the single person discount. They lost the discount because someone (not their partner or a lodger) was living with them but the second adult's income was low. The income and savings of the taxpayer were not taken into account in working out the benefit.
The new scheme regulations can be read here.
- Pension age is the age where you can claim State Pension Credit. You can tell if you are of pension credit age by checking the website https://www.gov.uk/calculate-state-pension
- Where you have a weekly income greater than the amount that the government calculates as your basic living requirement, we will continue to reduce your entitlement to Council Tax Support by 20 pence in every pound by which your income exceeds your basic living costs. This is called the taper.
- The 8.5% contribution is calculated after any non dependant deductions and the taper have been applied
- We will continue to disregard Disability Living Allowance and Child Benefit in calculating your income
- People with savings over £16,000 will not be entitled to Council Tax Support unless they receive the Guarantee credit of State Pension Credit and savings between £6,000 (£10,000 for those of Pension Credit age) and £16,000 will continue to count towards your income.
How to apply for the local Council Tax Support Scheme
Please ring 020 8359 2111 and we will make you an appointment. If you bring all the evidence we need to help us assess your claim then in most cases we can assess the claim during the interview.
What to do next
Many people now have to pay Council Tax who have not previously had to pay. We can help by setting up a direct debit payment. Direct debits are the most convenient way to pay and we will always tell you how much we will take and give you notice of any changes to the payments.
We will send you a direct debit form with your Council Tax bill in March, but for more information regarding direct debits see the section Make life easier, pay by Direct Debit on our Council tax page or call 020 8359 2608