Isle of Wight residents are being reminded there is just one week to go to have their say on a consultation looking at potential changes to the Local Council Tax Support Scheme.
The annual two-month consultation – part of the process to help set council tax – closes on 30 September. No decisions have yet been made for next year.
Share your views online
The consultation presents a series of new options, influenced by financial factors including central government funding and the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. It can be accessed via the council’s Website.
The new options include reducing the maximum level of council tax support from 70 per cent to either 65 per cent or 60 per cent.
Also among the six options are: changing the blanket protection of claimants in receipt of a disability benefit, with future reductions based on income and household details; including Carer’s Allowance in total income calculations; not including the housing element of Universal Credit in income; and changes to levels of earnings ‘disregards’ and non-dependent deductions.
Who it will affect
The changes could affect more than 5,300 existing working age claimants across the Island, with some potentially seeing an increase in their council tax support and others a reduction. Those of pension age will not be affected.
The consultation and other factors will be used to shape a final decision by the council early in 2021. If approved, changes to the scheme could be made from April next year.
Cabinet member for resources, Councillor Brian Tyndall, said:
“We would urge residents to have their say on this important consultation, which considers proposals affecting local council tax support next year.
“Currently it is estimated the council may have a shortfall due to the coronavirus pandemic of about £10 million for next year, which means we are having to closely reassess all areas of council spending.
“We are continuing to develop options to manage this very difficult situation – including in relation to the Local Council Tax Support Scheme.
“No decisions, however, have yet been made, and we would like to reassure residents we will maintain our hardship fund to ensure it has the capacity to support those in particular need. We will also play our part in supporting government schemes aimed at helping those in need on the Island.”
Paper copies of the survey can be requested by contacting the council on (01983) 823950. An ‘easy read’ version can be obtained by contacting People Matter on (01983) 241494.
Once the consultation closes on 30 September, the responses will be closely considered and recommendations made to the Full Council in January next year. The new scheme is due to come in from April 2021.
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