Agenda item



To consider recommendations from Cabinet in respect of the Council Tax Support Scheme for 2018/19.


Further to Minute No. 85 of the meeting of the Cabinet and Commissioners held on 11th December, 2017 consideration was given to the report which detailed the review of the Council Tax Support Scheme which contained recommendations for the Council to adopt the scheme.


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.


Rotherham’s scheme had remained unchanged since it was implemented, whereas many other Councils have already reviewed their schemes and provide 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 seven change options which could be implemented individually or in combination.  Any proposal to change the Council Tax Support Scheme required 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.


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 within the report.  These informed the final recommendations.


Legislation required that any changes to the Council Tax Support Scheme must be adopted by Full Council by 31st January, 2018 in order to come into effect for 2018/19.


Members noted that this report had been considered in detail by the Overview and Scrutiny Management Board where there had been some disagreement with the chosen options as the most vulnerable claimants who were most reliant on the CTS may be impacted upon.


After careful consideration the majority of Members were supportive of the taper rate proposed to be introduced and the effect that this would have on the amount of Council Tax that claimants would be required to pay on a weekly or annual basis.  It was considered that as the options delivering the largest savings - maximum support and band cap - were not being recommended for adoption and a taper of 30% would be necessary in order to deliver a significant saving.


Resolved:-  That the following amendments to the current Council Tax Support Scheme be approved to take effect from 1st April 2018, within the revised scheme:-


·             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.


Mover:-  Councillor Read                       Seconder:-  Councillor Alam

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