Decision Maker: Cabinet, Council
Decision status: Recommendations Approved
Is Key decision?: Yes
Is subject to call in?: No
To consider proposals
1. Cabinet recommends to Council the Local Council Tax Support Scheme 2021/22 be based on the same overarching criteria as the current year’s scheme.
2. Cabinet considered the request from the Lincolnshire Police and Crime Commissioner to include Special Constables within the Local Council Tax Support scheme from 1 April 2021, however, Cabinet did not support the inclusion of Special Constables within the scheme.
Considerations/reasons for decision
· Report from the Cabinet Member for Finance and Resources on the Council’s on a review of the Council’s Local Council Tax Support Scheme (LCTSS).
· Any proposed Local Council Tax Support Scheme must comply with the provisions stated within the Local Government Finance Act 2012 before adoption by the Billing Authority.
· Covid-19 had impacted the amount of LCTSS awarded. There had been an increase in new customers making claims for Universal Credit and in turn Council Tax support. The Department of Work and Pensions had fast-tracked processes which had seen an increase in claims.
· The increase in the cost of the scheme was a direct result of the increase in caseload due to Covid-19.
· The Council’s local scheme has been updated with amendments since the introduction in April 2013 to maintain the link with Housing Benefit and the previous Council Tax Benefit scheme, the maximum entitlement was currently capped at 80% for working age customers.
· Technical changes needed to be applied to ensure that the Council’s scheme complied with the Prescribed Scheme Regulations (covering Universal Credit, premiums and discounts). Details were still outstanding from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG).
· Assumptions had been made when modelling the Council Tax Support Scheme options.
· Lincolnshire County Council and the Police and Crime Commissioner had been consulted as major preceptors.
· Options had been presented to the Finance, Economic Development and Corporate Services Overview and Scrutiny Committee on 10 November 2020, this had excluded the proposal from the Police and Crime Commissioner as it had not been received.
Other options considered
To increase the maximum award from 70% to 100% (increments of 5% increase): With 3.5% Council Tax increase and 3% caseload increase.
Report author: Richard Wyles
Publication date: 13/01/2021
Date of decision: 12/01/2021
Decided at meeting: 12/01/2021 - Cabinet