To seek a Cabinet decision on the final proposals for the 2019/20 Council Tax Support Scheme, to be presented to Council for approval on 28 November 2018 (report of the Portfolio Holder Finance enclosed).
Consideration was given to the report of the Portfolio Holder Finance, which sought a Cabinet decision on the final proposals for the 2019/20 Local Council Tax Support Scheme, to be presented to Council for approval on 28 November 2018.
At its meeting on 11 September 2018, the Cabinet approved consultation on continuation of the current Council Tax scheme, uprated in line with DWP’s annual update of allowances and premiums for housing benefit, and the introduction of a new class for Care Leavers aged 18-21 years, providing up to 100% discount. The consultation exercise ran between 14 September and 2 November 2018, and the consultation report was attached at Appendix A to the report.
That the report be noted.
RECOMMENDATION TO FULL COUNCIL:
a) That the current Council Tax Support scheme be continued for 2019/20, along with uprating in line with the DWP’s annual update of allowances and premiums for housing benefit;
b) That a new class for Care Leavers, aged 18-21 years be introduced; and
c) That delegated authority to the Executive Director Commercialisation, in consultation with the Portfolio Holder for Finance be agreed, to approve the final scheme policy in line with the report.
(Other options considered:
· Continuation of the current scheme into 2019/20, uprated in line with the DWP’s annual update of allowances and premiums for housing benefit, but no introduction of a new class for Care Leavers aged 18-21 years, providing up to 100% discount.;
Reasons for decision:
· The recommended option would provide continuity for customers at a time when they might be experiencing change through the introduction of Universal Credit, and it would also provide for a new class for Care Leavers into the main Council Tax Support scheme;
· This approach would continue to see South Holland’s scheme modelled on the previous national Council Tax Benefit scheme, keeping administration of working age applications broadly consistent with administration of Housing Benefit and pensioners Council Tax Support. However with the implementation of Universal Credit in 2018/19, there will begin a reduction in working age Housing Benefit claimants over the next few years, and in turn a reduction in government funding. It is therefore timely that whilst consulting on a proposal for no change to the Council Tax Support scheme for 2019/20, that work begins on looking to develop a simplified scheme.
· Exploratory work will begin in 2018/19 to consider various scheme options and approaches, with a view to recommendations coming to Cabinet early in 2019/20 followed by consultation and then final decision making to achieve implementation of a new, simplified scheme for introduction in 2020/21.)