Decision details

Council Tax Support Scheme 2024/25

Decision Maker: Cabinet, Assembly

Decision status: Recommendations approved

Is Key decision?: Yes

Is subject to call in?: No


The Cabinet Member for Finance, Growth and Core Services presented a report on the outcome of the public consultation on proposals for a new, statutory local Council Tax Support (CTS) scheme for working age recipients for 2024/25.


The Cabinet Member reminded colleagues that the Government’s welfare reforms, which included the introduction of the Universal Credit (UC) system to replace Housing Benefit (HB), Income Support and other benefits / tax credits, meant that the Council’s current CTS scheme had become far less aligned with HB administration.  The welfare reforms also meant that many more individuals became liable for paying towards their Council Tax and the amount of support given to local authorities, to help those on very low incomes with their Council Tax bill, had been cut by approximately 10% by Government.


As a consequence, the Cabinet considered alternative CTS models at its October 2023 meeting and its preferred option was an ‘income banded discount’ scheme, described as Model 1 in the report, which was more aligned with the new benefits regime, easier for the Council to administer and, most importantly, simpler for claimants to understand whilst being less reactive to changes to their individual circumstances.


A public consultation exercise took place between 23 October and 24 November 2023 and covered a range of issues, including alternative options. The consultation was widely promoted on the Citizens Alliance Network website alongside the main Council website, via social media and awareness campaigns via the BD_Collective.  Furthermore, every CTS claimant was written to directly and direct engagement was sought from key voluntary sector partners, the Citizens’ Advice Bureau and the Disablement Association for Barking and Dagenham.


The Cabinet Member advised that although the level of survey responses was relatively low, the response to the Model 1 scheme was predominantly positive and acknowledged the need for change.  Individual comments and issues raised by respondents had been reflected upon and the intention was for the new CTS scheme, which was set out at Appendix 1 to the report, to take effect from 1 April 2024.  The Cabinet Member also referred to the proposal to carry forward £250,000 Council Tax Discretionary Hardship Funding, provided within the Welfare Reserve, from 2023/24 to 2024/25, to provide additional support for those local residents who may be slightly worse off under the new CTS scheme.  


The Assembly resolved to:


(i)  Agree, in light of the positive response to the public consultation, to adopt Model 1 as set out in sections 1.17 - 1.20 of the report as the Council’s replacement Council Tax Support Scheme for 2024/25; and


(ii)  Agree the carry forward of £250,000 Council Tax Discretionary Hardship Funding, provided within the Welfare Reserve, from 2023/24 to 2024/25.

Report author: Donna Radley

Publication date: 19/02/2024

Date of decision: 31/01/2024

Decided at meeting: 31/01/2024 - Assembly

Accompanying Documents: