Colchester Borough Council is inviting residents to give their views on how Local Council Tax Support (LCTS) should be allocated from April 2023. The LCTS is managed by the council and provides support payments to people on low incomes to help with their council tax bill.
Between 6 October and 17 November residents can go online to find more information and complete a short survey on their priorities for how the council should distribute LCTS to those most in need.
With the focus on the cost-of-living crisis its number one priority, the council is keen to hear the views of everyone in the borough paying council tax, residents with a low income who receive LCTS, and other interested organisations.
Views are sought on how the scheme is funded and on the following proposals:
- To increase the maximum level of support for working age applicants from 80% to 85%
- Disregarding certain payments paid to council taxpayers under special schemes, and
- Where the Government makes emergency increases to national welfare benefits to assist in a crisis, the scheme will give the council the discretion to disregard those increases if they would have a negative effect of council tax reduction
The proposals take account of Government policy, which includes guidance set nationally for pension credit age recipients and the need to protect the most vulnerable.
A decision on Colchester’s 2023-24 LCTS scheme will be made by the council later this year and will take into consideration the results of the consultation.
Councillor Mark Cory, Portfolio Holder for Resources, said: “This consultation is about increasing the amount of council tax contribution we can provide to our poorest residents, who need the greatest help to pay their bills.
“We are committed to helping even more people through the cost-of-living crisis and providing an even greater level of support to the most vulnerable members of our community.
“Our Local Council Tax Support scheme currently reduces the costs for 8,900 of our most deserving and vulnerable residents – some 5,500 of working age – helping to limit hardship and tackle inequality. But we want to go even further and make the scheme more generous to working-age applicants, by increasing their maximum entitlement from 80% to 85%, which will assist more low-income households with their council tax payments next year.
“I would encourage all residents and organisations to give us their views via the short questionnaire, before 17 November, and we will carefully consider all the responses received.”
The LCTS scheme forms part of a wider package of award-winning council support, which includes flexible payment plans, welfare benefit, debt, and employment advice, as well as administration of an exceptional hardship fund.
Take part in the consultation at: www.colchester.gov.uk/council-tax/lcts-public-consultation/
Page last reviewed: 6 October 2022