Have your say on ‘simpler and fairer’ council tax support scheme
22 July 2019
Residents are invited to have their say on changes to Brent's council tax support scheme. Brent wants to make it simpler, fairer and focused more on support for people who are least able to pay council tax.
The 12-week consultation launched on 19 July.
The proposed adjustments to the scheme are designed to make claiming support easier, with a banded scheme that fits alongside the Government's Universal Credit system. The scheme is based on people's ability to pay, and some people's entitlement will change, but Brent will continue to support more than 27,000 residents. The Cabinet Member responsible, Cllr Eleanor Southwood, confirmed that the overall pot of money the council allocates for the scheme has been protected at £28.9 million.
"After 10 years of Government-led austerity, all councils are having to find savings from almost every part of their budgets," said Cllr Southwood, Cabinet Member for Housing and Welfare Reform. "I am pleased that, despite the significant and on-going central Government spending squeeze, we are protecting the amount of money that we spend on our council tax support.
"Brent is firmly on the side of people who are being hurt most by austerity and uncertainty, which is why the proposed scheme focuses support on those least able to pay council tax. It is also a simpler scheme, which I hope residents will find easier to apply to."
Residents are invited to give their views on the banded scheme and the principles behind the changes, which aim to protect people struggling with poverty, whether unemployed or in-work. The revised scheme will need to be approved by Full Council before it comes into effect on 1 April 2020.
People facing the burden of challenging circumstances, such as disabled residents, carers and war widows, will continue to be supported by the Council, with the majority receiving a 100% discount.
To have your say on the changes and read more about the new scheme, see here.