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Wyre Forest District Council is asking people to take part in a consultation, by answering a questionnaire on its Council Tax Reduction Scheme (CTRS), which helps people on low incomes pay their Council Tax.

The Council has to review the scheme each year and is considering making five changes to bring the scheme into line with the Government’s latest welfare reforms.

The proposed changes would make it simpler for people to understand and more efficient to administer.We Want Your Feedback Web (1)

The five changes being considered are:

  1. Removing the Family Premium for all new working age applicants
  2. Reducing the period a person can be absent from Great Britain and still receive Council Tax Reduction from 13 to 4 weeks
  3. Removing the work-related element in the calculation for new Employment and Support Allowance applicants
  4. Limiting the number of dependant children that can be taken into account to a maximum of two.
  5. Removing entitlement to the Severe Disability Premium where another person is paid Universal Credit (Carer’s Element) to look after them.

The changes would affect new claims for certain working age people applying from April 2017. Existing working age claimants will not be affected by the proposed changes as long as their circumstances do not change.  

The survey is available online here and will run from 5 October until 7 November 2016. Paper copies of the questionnaire are also available at Kidderminster Hub.

Councillor Sara Fearn, Wyre Forest District Council’s Cabinet Member for Transformation and Change said:

“The Council Tax Reduction Scheme helps the poorest residents in our communities by reducing the amount of council tax they have to pay.  The amount of help we give is based on a claimant’s financial situation. 

“We are obliged to review the scheme every year and we are considering changing how we calculate people’s discount to bring it into line with other benefit schemes.”

Results from this consultation will be published later this year on our website. A final decision on what the scheme will look like will be made by the Council no later than 31 January 2017. 

Councillor Fearn added: 

“It’s a complex issue and we have fully explained the various options in the questionnaire.  It really is important that people read the background information before they fill in the survey.”

 


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Wyre Forest District Council