The coalition government has announced that they will abolish Council Tax Benefit from April 2013 and replace it with local schemes called Council Tax Support.
The amount the coalition pays local authorities for the new schemes will see a 10% reduction in the current grant for Council Tax Benefit. For Birmingham City Council, this means a financial shortfall of £10.9m.
How the new schemes operate will be decided by local authorities themselves. Birmingham has drawn up the proposals drafted below outlining changes in the financial support offered to claimants.
Some of the proposals include protection for the most vulnerable people in the city. These claimants will not be affected and will continue to receive support at the same level as Council Tax Benefit:
- Claimants or their partner in receipt of war disablement and war widows/widowers pension
- Claimants with children under 6 in their household
- Claimants or their partners or children who have certain disabilities
Most other claimants will be affected by the proposals and the council is asking for views about the proposed scheme, regardless of whether you currently claim Council Tax Benefit or expect to claim Council Tax Support.
- You can complete an online questionnaire at: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/bcccounciltaxsupport.
- You can attend one of the following public meetings:
- West Perry Common Library Saturday 15th September 11am
- South Northfield Library Thursday 20th September 5pm
- East South Yardley Library Saturday 29th September 11am
- North Hollyfields Centre, Erdington Thursday 4th October 6pm
- Central Birmingham Midland Institute Thursday 18th October 6pm
- You can email your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org. [Your comments will be formally recorded, but no personal responses will be made.]
The consultation runs until Sunday 2nd December 2012.
A copy of the draft scheme, and an explanation of the main changes that are proposed, can be found on www.birmingham.gov.uk/counciltaxsupport.
If you know anyone who doesn’t have internet access, they can get a free copy at their local library. You can also phone 0121 464 5179 for a free copy of the scheme and the explanatory documents.