A ‘fairer’ scheme to help poorer families who struggle to pay their Council Tax was approved by Teignbridge District Council yesterday (Monday 24 February).
Voting at the same meeting where they approved a £5 annual increase in the Council Tax payable by Teignbridge house-holders, the Full Council agreed by a large majority to introduce the new support scheme for people with low household incomes.
Proposed changes to the existing Council Tax Reduction format were made public last year and the community were invited to comment.
The fine-tuned scheme will now take effect from 1 April this year. It moves away from the current complex fully means-tested format to a new discount–based income-banded scheme. This retains the best elements of the current scheme and includes the following features:
Disregard some allowances when calculating income
Replace current variable earnings disregard with a standard £25 disregard for all
Incorporate a Return to Work Incentive for Universal Credit claimants and others
Apply the current two dependent children ‘limit’ to existing claimants.
Remove non-dependant deductions from the scheme
Increase the 1-month back-date time limit to 12 months
Remove restriction limiting support to maximum Band D property.
Speaking in favour of the new scheme, Cllr Alan Connett, Teignbridge’s councillor with responsibility for Finance, said: “We are the only council locally that still offers up to 100% support for some poorer households. This new scheme will offer more support for more people and will be fairer all round”.
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