HAVE YOUR SAY ON COUNCIL TAX SUPPORT CHANGES IN HYNDBURN

The Council is asking local people for their views on proposed changes to Council Tax Support in a twelve week consultation running to 5 December 2019.

People are asked to consider three options for funding changes to Council Tax Support – the scheme that helps 4,300 of our residents to pay some of their council tax. Any changes to Council Tax Support would not impact on anyone over 65, while any changes to Council Tax overall would apply to all households in the borough.

Alongside the funding proposals, the Council is asking for views on the administration of Council Tax Support and is considering an option to bring Hyndburn’s scheme in line with national schemes as more households move to Universal Credit.

The three funding options being considered are:

1: Increase the minimum payment level above the current 30% with three increases being suggested: 35%, 37.5% and 40%.

2: Increase Council Tax levels for all taxpayers

3: Make savings by cutting or reducing other services

Cllr Joyce Plummer, Cabinet Member for Resources, explained the background to proposals saying;

“Before April 2013, Council Tax payers on a low income could apply for Council Tax Benefit to help pay their Council Tax. Under this national scheme and in line with the regulations, Council Tax payers could receive benefit of up to 100 per cent of their council tax liability. The Council then received full funding from the government for all Council Tax Benefit paid to residents.

From April 2013, councils became responsible for designing their own local Council Tax Support (CTS) scheme for working age people only. The government also reduced the funding given to councils to pay for the scheme. Since then the funding the Council receives from central government to support the local working age scheme has continued to reduce in line with the other central funding cuts and is expected to continue to reduce over the coming years. This is why we need to review our local scheme and the way we fund it, as more people move over to Universal Credit.”

Cllr Plummer added;

“Each year the Council has to decide whether to change the Council Tax Support scheme for working age applicants in Hyndburn and it’s essential we consider future requirements and reduce administration costs. We want to hear the views of as many people in the Borough as possible regarding possible options for Hyndburn’s scheme.”

To find out more about the options and to have your say visit, www.hyndburnbc.gov.uk/counciltaxsupport by 5 December 2019. Anyone not able to go online can request a paper copy by contacting the Council on enquiries@hyndburnbc.gov.uk or by calling 01254 388 111.

The results of the consultation will guide the final recommendations to be considered by Full Council for approval of the Council Tax Support Scheme by 31 January 2020.