In a consultation launched today, 14 August 2019, residents are being asked for their views on how the new Buckinghamshire council will support people on low incomes with their council tax bills through a new Council Tax Reduction (Support) Scheme. The changes are being discussed as the five councils prepare to become one, new council from 1 April 2020.
Currently the four district councils, Aylesbury Vale, Chiltern, South Bucks and Wycombe, offer different levels of council tax support across Buckinghamshire, through the Council Tax Reduction Scheme.
However, from 1 April 2020, there will be one council for Buckinghamshire, so the proposal is to have one scheme for the whole of the county meaning people in the same situation are treated consistently and fairly wherever they live.
The proposal brings the four current schemes together in the most effective way, with the least amount of change for those currently receiving a reduction in their council tax bill while making sure the new scheme is affordable for the new council.
Council tax support is offered to people of working age on low incomes who are eligible for a reduction in their council tax based on their financial situation. This includes vulnerable people such as people who receive qualifying disability benefit and single parents with a child/children under 5. The proposed scheme does not affect pensioners who will continue to receive the same level of council tax reduction as directed by Government.
Many people will see little or no changes, but combining four schemes into one does mean there will be some differences.
Martin Tett, Leader of the Shadow Executive, said: “When we are one council it’s important that there isn’t a postcode lottery on the help our residents can get. We want a fair approach that offers residents the same level of support with their council tax bills no matter where they live in the county.”
To find out more and have your say, visit https://shadow.buckinghamshire.gov.uk/consultations/counciltaxreduction