Croydon Council wants to change the way council tax support works
Croydon Council wants to make three changes to the way council tax support in the borough works.
It follows a change, which came into force in 2022, which sees income bands used as a guideline for how much discount people get on their bills.
Now, the council wants to make further changes to the scheme which it says would make the system fairer and mean “everyone would pay something”.
It would also see changes to the amount of support provided to the households of disabled residents where there are other adults in the house.
The claimant of council tax support would see reductions of £5 if another adult in the house is not working, £10 if they earn up to £23,999 and £30 if they earn £24,000 and over.
Cabinet member for finance, Councillor Jason Cummings, said this ”is a fairer system that aligns with the principle of everybody paying something”.
A six-week public consultation was approved at a cabinet meeting last Wednesday and any changes would apply from April 2023.
The changes proposed include removing a minimum income for households where the claimant or partner is disabled and working.
The council said this could “positively affect” households where the person is self-employed and disabled, it will base support on their actual weekly income rather than an assumed income of £297 a week.
The council is also proposing to adjust its existing income bands, to match any increase in council tax, rather than being based on the consumer price index (CPI).
At the meeting, Cllr Cummings added: “This is a more sensible system which ensures support and council tax itself moves at the same rate rather than using different measures that can change the balance between the two.”
Mayor of Croydon, Jason Perry added: “Council tax support for our low-income families is a lifeline, particularly when we look at increased cost of living and by relating the council tax support to the level of council tax is an important method going forward.”
The council has allocated £630,000 for ‘discretionary hardship funding’ for 2023/24.
This will be available for those struggling to pay their council tax, with support allocated on a case-by-case basis.