Have your say on changes to Council Tax Support
Local views are being sought on a scheme to help safeguard low
income and vulnerable families from the impact of government
changes to Council Tax Support.
Over 13,000 households in the borough currently receive help to
pay their Council Tax through Council Tax Benefit. At present, the
cost of providing this help is met by central government.
However, from 1st April 2013 the government will be reducing the
funding paid to all local authorities by at least 10%. This means
Bedford Borough faces a shortfall of approximately £1.6million
In addition, all councils will receive a fixed amount of funding
for Council Tax Support every year, regardless of whether the cost
of supporting households changes. This means that the shortfall
would increase in future years if more households qualified to
The government has instructed all local councils to implement their
own schemes to provide Council Tax Support. Bedford Borough Council
is now consulting with local residents in order to minimise the
impact on those who may be affected by the changes.
The scheme put forward by Bedford Borough Council sets out to
protect the most vulnerable, while cracking down on those who cheat
the benefit system:
• There will be no changes to the support given to
• The vast majority of other households will continue to
receive a similar amount of support with their Council Tax. Special
allowances for households with children or people with disabilities
will continue in the same way as at present
• Households with total savings above £8,000 will be expected
to pay Council Tax.
• There will be new measures that would prevent anyone who
commits benefit or Council Tax Support fraud from receiving
assistance for 6 months.
• Owners of some unoccupied properties will no longer be
entitled to an exemption from Council Tax, but some properties
including those where the owner has died or moved into residential
care will continue to be exempt.
Councillor Shan Hunt, Executive Member for Revenue and Benefits,
said: “I want to reassure everyone we are working hard to limit the
impact of this government-imposed change on local people. There
will be no changes to support with Council Tax received by
pensioners. Most other households will also continue to receive a
similar amount of support as they do at the moment.”
The consultation closes on 19th November 2012. All responses
will be considered and a decision will be made in January 2013. Any
Council Tax bills affected will be adjusted from April 2013.
You can respond to the consultation in the following ways:
By email: email@example.com
By post: CONSULTING BEDFORD
By phone: 01234 228435
In person: Documents and response forms
are available at any Bedford Borough library, Borough Hall
reception area and the Customer Service Centre, Horne Lane,