Action on the cost-of-living: Hundreds of low-income households to benefit from paying less council tax
1,400 households in the Vale of White Horse will benefit from a more generous council tax support (CTS) scheme following action to help those most at risk during the cost-of-living crisis.
At their meeting on Wednesday 7 December, district councillors at the Vale voted to remove restrictions requiring households on CTS to make a contribution towards their annual council tax bill. The changes will be introduced from April 2023 when the new tax year begins.
Under the current CTS scheme, a household’s annual bill is reduced by 91.5 per cent, subject to further possible restrictions if the property is in council tax bands F, G or H. However, with the impact of the cost-of-living crisis, councillors agreed that the requirement for these households to pay at least 8.5 per cent council tax, excluding other restrictions, was now causing an additional hardship for many on a low income.
Councillors also voted to reintroduce support for single households who have lost their single person discount due to an adult on a low income living with them.
Cllr Andy Crawford, Cabinet Member for Finance and Corporate Assets at Vale of White Horse District Council, said: “The cost-of-living crisis is having a very real impact on many families who are fearful of how they will be able to afford to eat or pay utility bills. We hope that the measures we’ve agreed will help to relieve some of the burden that those most at risk are facing.”
“Where possible, it’s important that everyone contributes to help pay for public services. However, we will continue to do what we can to help those across the district who are experiencing severe financial hardship.”
For more information about Council Tax Support in the Vale of White Horse, visit whitehorsedc.gov.uk/ctrs. To find out about other cost of living support available, visit whitehorsedc.gov.uk/costofliving.
Notes for editors:
Under the current scheme, the calculation of working age Council Tax Reduction was based on 91.5 per cent of a household’s Council Tax liability, rather than 100 per cent. There are exemptions to this. These were applicants who were considered disabled, in receipt of War Widows Pensions, War Disablement Pensions or a single parent with a child under 5 years old. To be considered disabled, the applicant had to receive one of the following in their Council Tax Reduction award:
- Disability premium
- Enhanced disability premium
- Severe disability premium
- A disability premium for dependants
- Enhanced disability premium for dependants
- Disabled earnings disregard
- A Council Tax disability reduction
- In receipt of Employment Support Allowance at any rate.
An applicant liable for Council Tax who lives with another adult who is not liable does not receive a single person discount. Under the Second Adult Rebate, if that other adult’s income is below a certain amount, the applicant can receive help with their Council Tax based on the other adult’s income, regardless of the applicant’s income.