From 1 April 2013 Council Tax Benefit has been replaced by Council Tax Support in Barking and Dagenham. The change is happening because the government is now passing responsibility for helping residents to local councils, but they are giving us less money than they used to.
If you are likely to be affected by these changes you should have received a leaflet from us at the end of February 2013. You can view a copy here
The new set-up means that all residents who are getting Council Tax Benefit will automatically be moved onto the new ‘Council Tax Support Scheme’.
However, the government’s changes to the Council Tax Benefit scheme mean that we have about £2.3 million less to work with.
This means we have to ask everyone of ‘working age’ to pay some Council Tax. This will be at least 15p in every £1 of your Council Tax bill.
By 'working age' we mean if you are 16 or over, but below the age you can claim your State Pension.
To help us design the new local scheme, we ran six weeks of consultation with residents and others. We held public meetings, ran an online survey and sent letters to every household where a Council Tax Benefit claimant lives.
Under the new scheme, about 13,000 households that have never paid Council Tax before will now have to do so.
There are also about 4,000 low-income households that get Council Tax Benefit to help pay part of their bill. They will still have to pay the same amount of their income towards their Council Tax bill, plus the 15p in every £1 of their bill that all working-age claimants need to pay.
Some households that already pay almost all of their Council Tax bill won’t qualify for Council Tax Support at all.
People over State Pension age will not be affected by these changes.
Students still won’t have to pay Council Tax, and discounts will still work in the same way as they did under the old Council Tax Benefit scheme.