Localising Council Tax Support
The government’s proposals to give local authorities full responsibility for council tax benefit payments means that councils will be tasked with reducing the £4.8 billion annual council tax benefit bill by 10% by deciding at local level who should no longer receive the subsidy.
Local authorities are currently responsible for council tax rates and collection but do not control benefit policy, which is set by central government. Around 5.8 million people currently claim council tax benefit across Britain.
The government seeks to bring all aspects of the council tax system together. The changes, due to be introduced in 2013-2014, sit alongside the government’s wider welfare reforms to end dependency on benefits and make sure it pays to work. Pensioners would be protected from any reductions in the payment.
The change has been opposed by the Institute for Fiscal Studies which says it will penalise poorer households.
DCLG Localising Council Tax Support consultation document