Policy

Giving local authorities more control over how they spend public money in their area

Supporting detail:

Localising Council Tax support

We’ve introduced new rules which allow councils in England to design their own Council Tax support schemes. The Local Government Finance Act which gained Royal assent in October 2012, allows local councils in England to design their own schemes from April 2013.

The new law protects vulnerable pensioners and the changes should provide incentives for people to find and stay in work.

The Department for Communities and Local Government has provided information and guidance to support local authorities to develop their own schemes.

Council Tax reduction schemes regulations

The Council Tax Reduction Schemes (Prescribed Requirements) (England) Regulations 2012 (SI 2012/2885) and The Council Tax Reduction Schemes (Default Scheme) (England) Regulations 2012 (SI 2012/2886) were made on 16 November 2012, and laid before Parliament on 22 and 23 of November 2012 respectively.

This instrument, the Council Tax Reduction Schemes (Prescribed Requirements and Default Scheme) (England) (Amendment) Regulations 2012 (SI 2012:3085) has now been laid before Parliament.

This follows through on the government’s stated intention to increase some of the allowances in the Prescribed Requirements and Default Scheme in line with the Department for Work and Pensions’ up-rating of Housing Benefit following the Autumn Statement.

The Prescribed Requirements regulations prescribe requirements for all local Council Tax reduction schemes and came into force on 27 November 2012.

Please note for Prescribed Requirements:

  • Schedules 1 to 6 apply to pensioners (as defined) only
  • Schedules 7 to 8 apply to all applicants (ie working age and pensioners)

The Default Scheme Regulations, which prescribe the default Council Tax reduction scheme which will apply to any council which has not made its on scheme came into force on 18 December 2012.

Publications

We have run the following consultations:

For further information see Localising Council Tax support publications.

If you have any queries email LCTS-reform@communities.gsi.gov.uk

Actual allocations of the transition grant for Council Tax reduction schemes can be found on the localising support for Council Tax: transitional grant scheme page.