Consultation

Council Tax Support Scheme 2019/20

Response to the consultation

Following the consultation, changes to the Council Tax Support scheme were agreed by Cabinet on 23 January 2019. The Cabinet report can be found at:

 

https://wolverhampton.moderngov.co.uk/ieDecisionDetails.aspx?ID=1932

 

Purpose of the consultation

Since the Government stopped council tax benefit in April 2013, each Council has introduced its own council tax support scheme. Government continues to set the rules for pensioners and so the scheme applies only to working age households - pensioners are not affected by the changes proposed in this consultation.  Wolverhampton has around 14,000 working age customers who receive council tax support. 

Since December 2017, here in Wolverhampton, the housing benefit scheme closed for most new claims. Support with housing costs is now provided through universal credit, administered by the Department for Work and Pensions.  

The Council continues to help with council tax through its local scheme, but the number of housing benefit claims administered by the Council will decrease as people transfer to universal credit.  

The aim of this consultation is to consider the options available to address some of the expected impacts of the roll-out of universal credit on the local council tax support scheme. 

Universal credit is different from other benefits such as income support, jobseekers allowance (JSA) and employment and support allowance (ESA) because it is paid monthly in arrears and is based on real time information about a claimant's circumstances - such as hours worked etc. This means that the amount of universal credit paid can vary month to month.  

Under the current council tax support scheme, each time there is a change in the amount of universal credit received, council tax support must also be adjusted. Every month there could be a recalculation of council tax support even for very small changes and an amended council tax bill issued. This could cause confusion for customers if they regularly need to change their payment arrangements. It will also increase the Council’s administration and postage costs. 

The move to universal credit is now a key factor that needs to be taken into account when looking at the council tax support scheme for 2019/20 and beyond. 

The Council is considering two proposals and we want your views on whether each of the changes should be included in the council tax support scheme from 1 April 2019. We cannot calculate exactly how these changes might affect everyone who receives council tax support, but we have included examples of how the proposed changes could impact customers.  
  

How can I have my say?

The consultation is open from 28 August 2018 until 19 November 2018 and there are a number of ways you can get involved.

You can have your say by completing a simple, confidential online questionnaire.

If you don’t have access to the internet you can still take part in the consultation.

For further information please contact customer services on 01902 551166 or write to: 

Revenues & Benefits
PO Box 250
Wolverhampton
WV1 1AX

 

We will be analysing the results of the consultation during December 2018, once we have completed the analysis and considered your feedback we will publish the results on the City of Wolverhampton Council website.



No personal data or information will be collected when you complete this survey.  You will be asked to provide the first part of your post code only.  This is to ensure that the Council has gathered the views of residents across the City.

Supporting documents

Contact details

Should you wish to speak to someone regarding this consultation, please use the below contact details:

Jenny Hoare

Email: jenny.hoare@wolverhampton.gov.uk