This report seeks Council approval of the adoption of a revised local Council Tax Reduction Scheme.
This report provided details of proposals for the adoption of an amended Council Tax Reduction Scheme, following consultation and consideration by Cabinet on 15 December 2015. The Cabinet had recommended an amended Council Tax Reduction Scheme (CTRS) to Council for adoption reducing the maximum discount from 75% to 65% and enhancing the extended payments period from four to eight weeks.
A Diversity Impact Assessment had been undertaken on the proposed changes, as set out in Appendix 7 to the report with a detailed analysis set out in paragraph 3.3 of the report.
The Portfolio Holder for Business Management, Councillor Turpin, supported by the Leader of the Council, Councillor Jarrett, proposed the revised recommendation as tabled at the meeting.
“The Council is asked to approve a revised Council Tax Reduction Scheme as detailed at Appendix 5 to the report subject to paragraphs 96 (3) (a) (page 189 of the Supplementary Agenda) and 101 (3) (a) (page 192 of the Supplementary Agenda) being amended to reflect the Cabinet’s recommendation on 15 December 2015 to enhance extended payments from four weeks to eight weeks.”
Councillor Maple, supported by Councillor Stamp, proposed the following amendment:
“The Council is asked to approve a revised Council Tax Reduction Scheme as moved by Councillor Turpin and detailed at Appendix 5 to the report subject to the following revisions shown tracked below:
Amend paragraph 2 of Part 1 of Appendix 5 of item 12 of the Council Agenda (Page 51 of supplementary Agenda No.1 refers) so that it now reads:
“2. This Local Council Tax Reduction Scheme is implemented by Medway Council and is intended to assist people in financial need, by the award of a reduction in their council tax liability. The Government has prescribed that the reduction given to pensioners will not be any less than they would have received under the previous Council Tax Benefit provisions. The Council has decided that this protection will be extended to working age applicants in receipt of a war pension.
The Council has
prescribed that the local reduction scheme will result in all
working age claimants being liable to pay a minimum of
20% of their annual council tax liability, alternative maximum
council tax benefit (second adult rebate) will be withdrawn, and a
deduction in respect of non dependants will be extended to include
those on a mean tested benefit.”
Amend item 29A of Part 7 of Appendix 5 of item 12 of the Council Agenda (Pages 100-101 of supplementary Agenda No.1 refers) so that it now reads:
Subjectto paragraphs(2) to(4), theamountof aperson’smaximumcouncil tax reductionin respect ofa day is
20% 80% per cent of the amount A/B where –
(a) Ais theamo ... view the full minutes text for item 677
This report provided details of the outcome of the consultation process regarding proposed changes to the Council Tax Reduction Scheme (CTRS). This followed Cabinet’s agreement in August 2015 to the commencement of a twelve week consultation in relation to proposals to reduce the maximum CTRS discount from 75% to 65%(decision number 113/2015) and enhance the extended payments period from four to eight weeks (decision number 114/2015).
The report provided details of and analysed the outcome of the consultation process, which took place between 8 September 2015 to 30 November 2015. It was noted that there were 920 responses received during the consultation period out of the 5,560 surveys sent and that there were 626 responses to the randomly selected residents across Medway out of a population of 263,925; this was considered sufficient to provide a representative sample of the residents’ views on the CTRS proposals with a confidence interval of +-3.9%.
A Diversity Impact Assessment (DIA) had been undertaken on the proposals, as set out in Appendix B to the report. Details of the outcome of the DIA were set out in paragraph 3.3 of the report.
A copy of the survey questionnaire was attached at Appendix A to the report.
The Cabinet agreed to accept this report as urgent to enable the outcome of consultation on the proposals to be reported to Members at the earliest opportunity given it has major budgetary implications.
The Cabinet recommended an amended Council Tax Reduction Scheme (CTRS) to Council for adoption on 21 January 2016 reducing the maximum discount from 75% to 65% and enhancing the extended payments period from four to eight weeks.
The amended scheme continues to balance the need for supporting those currently in receipt of CTRS and the ability of the Council to fund the scheme within the current budgetary constraints.
The majority of respondents to the consultation were in agreement with the amendments to the scheme.