Proposed changes to Barnet’s Council Tax Support Scheme

This event has now closed.

Overview

The Council Tax Support scheme is the council’s discount scheme that helps people on low incomes pay their Council Tax. Barnet Council is considering moving to a new, simplified Council Tax Support scheme for working age claimants and wants to hear your views. Pension age claimants would be unaffected by the changes to the scheme.

The council is proud of having taken a long term view of financial planning. We have already saved £155.8million since 2010 and protected frontline services as far as possible. Between 2019 and 2024, the council faces a further forecasted budget gap of £69 million and that means the council will need to change the way it operates to enable us to deliver within our means.

With the financial challenges, and the introduction of Universal Credit, the existing Council Tax Support scheme is no longer fit for purpose. For example, keeping the current scheme as it is will mean any modest changes to a claimant's income under Universal Credit will result in frequent changes to the level of Council Tax Support they receive, resulting in uncertainty for claimants and additional costs to the council in administration.

Views are now being sought on whether the council should move to a more simplified income banded scheme, with varying income brackets and some reductions to levels of support.

In the proposed scheme, the council will continue to help people who are on a low income or claiming certain benefits to pay some of their Council Tax bill. Changes to our scheme will not affect residents who have reached their state retirement age and at the same time are not receiving Jobseeker’s Allowance, Income Support, Universal Credit or Employment & Support Allowance.

To find out more about the proposed changes and what they will mean for claimants, please read our consultation document. Further information is provided in the Policy and Resources Committee Report and the full Council Tax Support Draft Scheme 2019 in the library on the right hand side.

The consultation is open to all Barnet residents, even those who don’t receive Council Tax Support, as well as businesses, community and voluntary organisations.

Give us your views

Please take the time to read our consultation document and then give us your views on the proposals by completing the online questionnaire.

We will also be holding a series of drop-in sessions where you can obtain more information and where council staff will be on hand to answer any questions you may have about our proposals. The dates and venues will be published here shortly.

If you require a paper copy of the consultation document and questionnaire or another format, or you would like someone to help you to complete the questionnaire, please email CouncilTax.SupportConsultation@barnet.gov.uk or telephone 020 8359 2237.

The findings from the consultation will contribute to the final recommendations that are put forward to the full Council meeting in December 2018. The council will then make a decision on the way forward.

Overview

The Council Tax Support scheme is the council’s discount scheme that helps people on low incomes pay their Council Tax. Barnet Council is considering moving to a new, simplified Council Tax Support scheme for working age claimants and wants to hear your views. Pension age claimants would be unaffected by the changes to the scheme.

The council is proud of having taken a long term view of financial planning. We have already saved £155.8million since 2010 and protected frontline services as far as possible. Between 2019 and 2024, the council faces a further forecasted budget gap of £69 million and that means the council will need to change the way it operates to enable us to deliver within our means.

With the financial challenges, and the introduction of Universal Credit, the existing Council Tax Support scheme is no longer fit for purpose. For example, keeping the current scheme as it is will mean any modest changes to a claimant's income under Universal Credit will result in frequent changes to the level of Council Tax Support they receive, resulting in uncertainty for claimants and additional costs to the council in administration.

Views are now being sought on whether the council should move to a more simplified income banded scheme, with varying income brackets and some reductions to levels of support.

In the proposed scheme, the council will continue to help people who are on a low income or claiming certain benefits to pay some of their Council Tax bill. Changes to our scheme will not affect residents who have reached their state retirement age and at the same time are not receiving Jobseeker’s Allowance, Income Support, Universal Credit or Employment & Support Allowance.

To find out more about the proposed changes and what they will mean for claimants, please read our consultation document. Further information is provided in the Policy and Resources Committee Report and the full Council Tax Support Draft Scheme 2019 in the library on the right hand side.

The consultation is open to all Barnet residents, even those who don’t receive Council Tax Support, as well as businesses, community and voluntary organisations.

Give us your views

Please take the time to read our consultation document and then give us your views on the proposals by completing the online questionnaire.

We will also be holding a series of drop-in sessions where you can obtain more information and where council staff will be on hand to answer any questions you may have about our proposals. The dates and venues will be published here shortly.

If you require a paper copy of the consultation document and questionnaire or another format, or you would like someone to help you to complete the questionnaire, please email CouncilTax.SupportConsultation@barnet.gov.uk or telephone 020 8359 2237.

The findings from the consultation will contribute to the final recommendations that are put forward to the full Council meeting in December 2018. The council will then make a decision on the way forward.