Possible changes on the way for council tax support

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Wakefield Council will be meeting to review and possibly change the city’s Local Council Tax Support scheme

Wakefield Council’s Cabinet are meeting to discuss possible changes to Wakefield’s local Council Tax Support scheme.

The council has been reviewing its local scheme, as it will be affected by the national roll out of Universal Credit and other benefit changes.

A public consultation exercise was carried out earlier this year, including asking those directly affected by the changes to give their views.

Wakefield’s scheme, which was introduced in 2013, supports around 29,000 adults on a low income to pay their Council Tax. Of these, approximately 13,000 are of pension age and 16,000 are of working age.

The proposed changes will only affect those of working age.

Coun David Dagger, Cabinet Member for Corporate Services, said: “The welfare and wellbeing of all residents is our main priority, including supporting those who need support to help with their Council Tax payments.

“We are proposing changes to the current Council Tax Scheme due to the roll out of Universal Credit. The aim of the changes is to keep the scheme fair, both for those receiving Universal Credit and those who don’t.

“We also need to provide a scheme which supports those residents who are eligible for help and is fair to all Council Tax payers who depend on council services.”

The proposed changes will be beneficial to the majority of the existing customers of the scheme, but will affect a small number already receiving Universal Credit.

The changes will include an increase in allowances and premiums and removal of the Family Premium for any new applications.

The plans are being discussed by the Council’s Cabinet on Tuesday, December 20.

Members of the public are able to attend the Cabinet on Tour meeting, 10.30am-noon at Castleford Civic Centre.

If the report is approved, it will then be considered at a meeting of Full Council in the New Year, with a proposed implementation date of April 1 2017.