The council is considering changing the current council tax support (CTS) scheme from April 2020 and replacing it with an income banded council tax discount scheme for working age residents.
Certain groups, such as pensioners, will not be affected by the changes. Working age persons currently in receipt of CTS may be affected by the proposed changes.
The proposal is to replace the current scheme with an income banded scheme. The current means test calculation, which can be very complex, will be replaced with a simplified calculation as all state benefits including tax credits will be disregarded. The discount will be based upon the level of an applicants net income and that of their partner, if they have one.
The proposed scheme will keep the maximum 100% discount for applicants who fall into the protected category and 75% for all other applicants.
The full details of the proposed changes and examples of how it would impact on different circumstances, plus a link to the short survey is available
Residents already receiving CTS will have received a letter notifying them of the proposed changes and of how they can take part in the consultation.
Several drop-in sessions are being held at libraries across the borough which are open to anyone to attend.
Councillor Bassam Mahfouz, cabinet member for finance and leisure said: “The proposed changes to the council tax support scheme will simplify the process, making it much easier for applicants to understand and to see at a glance what they could be entitled to.
“It will reduce the need for customers to report changes as only those changes that would result in a change to their income band will have to be reported. Also changes to a non-dependant’s income will be reduced to just reporting the start or end of work.
“With the council having to manage on a budget that has reduced by 64%, meaning that for every £1 we used to get we now receive 36p, simplifying the scheme will also ensure that the administrative costs are kept to a minimum and we can make decisions for applicants far quicker, ensuring they can manage their finances far better.”
The consultation is open until 27 October 2019.
Feedback from the public consultation will be included in a report to Ealing’s Cabinet for a final decision. If agreed, the scheme will come into effect from 1 April 2020.
For residents who may need help with taking part in this consultation please ring 020 8825 7000 or email CouncilTaxSchemeConsultation@ealing.gov.uk