Decision details

Review of the Council Tax Support Scheme

Decision Maker: Cabinet and Commissioners' Decision Making Meeting (during Government Intervention - 18 January 2016 to 23 September 2018)

Decision status: Abandoned

Is Key decision?: Yes

Is subject to call in?: Yes


To approve the Council Tax Support Scheme for 2018/2019


Consideration was given to the report that detailed until 2013/14 Council Tax Benefit was a national scheme administered by Councils but fully funded by the Government.  In 2013 the Government abolished the national scheme and asked Local Authorities to create their own local Council Tax Support (CTS) Schemes with reduced funding.  Local CTS Schemes have to be reviewed annually and this report set out recommendations following this year’s review which was carried out within the context of the substantial financial challenges facing the Council.


Since 2010 Central Government grant to local authorities had been severely cut each and every year and the Council’s latest financial planning assumptions have identified that the Council needed to reduce its net spending by a further £31m over the 2 years 2018/19 and 2019/20.  The Council must address this funding gap whilst demand for services, particularly social care for vulnerable children and adults, was continuing to rise. 


As part of the review of the CTS Scheme, the level of potential savings that could be gained by changing the scheme was considered alongside the impact of a variety of options.


Rotherham’s scheme had remained unchanged since it was implemented, whereas many other Councils have already reviewed their schemes and provided support which was significantly less than was currently provided by Rotherham.  


The proposals related only to support for working age claimants (the support provided to pensioner claimants remain unchanged at nationally determined levels).


The options which were selected included retaining the current scheme and a further 7 change options which could be implemented individually or in combination.  Any proposal to change the Council Tax Support Scheme requires the Council to consult major preceptors (Fire and Rescue Authority and Police and Crime Commissioner) and also to undertake a public consultation exercise.  Consultation had been held with the major preceptors and a public consultation was undertaken over the period 9th October, 2017 to 20th November, 2017.


Detailed analysis of these options for change and the consultation results had been undertaken to determine the recommendations for amendments to the CTS scheme.  A total of 401 responses were received and detailed analysis of the consultation, including its scope and the analysis of the responses received, was included as part of Appendix A.


This report had been considered by the Overview and Scrutiny Management Board as part of the pre-scrutiny process who were in support of the recommendations, subject to 2 further recommendations about greater clarity being provided about how the consultation responses were used to inform proposals and where the proposals differed a clear rationale was provided and a further report being submitted on the take up of the scheme and the impact of Universal Credit roll-out across the borough.


Cabinet Members welcomed the changes to the Council Tax Support Scheme where this now incorporated support for care leavers, changes to non-dependent deductions, increasing the taper rate at which Council Tax was withdrawn and administrative changes for those on Universal Credit.


Resolved:-  (1)  That Cabinet recommend to Council the following amendments to the current Council Tax Support Scheme to take effect from 1st April, 2018, with the revised scheme to be included in the report to Council:-


·                100% support for qualifying care leavers.

·                A standard £10.00 deduction for non-dependants in employment and a standard £5.00 deduction for non-dependants not in employment.

·                The introduction of a taper rate of 30%.

·                Discretion is introduced into the Council Tax Support Scheme to limit the number of assessments for claimants in receipt of Universal Credit where there are only small changes to Universal Credit entitlement.


(2)  That greater clarity be provided about how consultation responses were used to inform proposals; and where the proposals differ from a majority consultation response, that a clear rationale is provided about how the proposals have been arrived at in the future.


(3)  That a further report be provided in October 2018 on the take up of the Council Tax Support Scheme and the impact of the roll-out of Universal Credit across the borough.

Publication date: 11/12/2017

Date of decision: 11/12/2017

Decided at meeting: 11/12/2017 - Cabinet and Commissioners' Decision Making Meeting (during Government Intervention - 18 January 2016 to 23 September 2018)

Effective from: 22/12/2017

Accompanying Documents: