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Council Tax Benefit reforms

In last year’s spending review the government announced proposals to localise Council Tax Benefit and reduce spending on it by 10 per cent. More details of these plans were announced in a consultation paper launched by Eric Pickles on 2nd August.

The consultation paper makes the following proposals:
  • Help with Council Tax will be a local authority responsibility and will not become part of Universal Credit (as DWP and some commentators have urged)
  • The amount provided to local authorities for the new system will be 10% less than current spending on Council Tax Benefit
  • Support for pensioners will not be affected by this cut in spending and will remain at existing levels with existing rules
  • Local authorities will be free to establish whatever rules they choose for their schemes for working age people (and will administer the scheme for pensioners using national rules)
  • Central government will provide a fixed amount of money to local authorities to operate their new schemes. Unlike current arrangements, this central government grant will not be ring-fenced and will not vary according to demand
  • New local schemes to provide help with paying Council Tax must be in place by April 2013

For more details on the proposals and an analysis of their impact see our briefing paper on Council Tax Benefit reforms.

The briefing paper is intended to help people working in local authorities and others understand the impact of the spending cut and the options for meeting the savings target. It concludes that "the cost of localism is that local authorities will be forced to do much of the government’s dirty work on welfare reform. Unless local authorities can collectively persuade government to include nationally-prescribed discounts in the new scheme, they will in effect have to implement cuts of almost 20% on working age claimants".

The consultation paper only directly affects England and separate proposals are likely to be made in Wales and Scotland. When more details emerge of how local authorities intend to implement the new system of local support for Council Tax we will publish details on this site.

Our calculators can be used to check entitlement to Council Tax Benefit. To see if you are entitled go through the simple form available at


October 2012
DCLG announce transition grant of £100million for local authorities to help with localisation of council tax support. Entitledto's calculators can help you consult and implement schemes that qualify for extra support from DCLG.
4th October 2012
Phil Agulnik addresses the IRRV Conference on the Impact of Universal Credit. See slides here. (The slides are attached).
3rd September 2012
Entitledto's Council Tax Support calculator is improving Council Tax Support consultation websites
13th June 2012
Entitledto and the National Housing Federation launch new 'bedroom tax' calculator
21st March 2012
Briefing on Budget changes to Child Benefit
22nd February 2012
White Paper 'Designing local Council Tax Support schemes'
3rd January 2012
Entitledto publish paper on Housing Benefit changes

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