Every year local councils have to take a look at their existing Council Tax Reduction scheme and make a decision whether to replace or revise it. Council Tax Reduction Schemes enables residents to apply for a discount on their Council Tax.

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This year West Devon Borough Council is proposing a number of changes and have put together a list of options which they would like customers to comment on.

Cllr Annabel Roberts, West Devon Borough Council's Lead Member for Customer First said: ""now universal credit has been rolled out across the Borough, our Council Tax Reduction scheme needs to change to link with Universal Credit.  So, this year we are suggesting some changes.  We know the process isn't always easy to follow, so we want to help make it clearer for our customers to keep on top of any changes to their own circumstances."

One of the proposed changes is the introduction of a simple grid with benefit bands, which will replace the current complex benefit assessment, making it easier for customers to see and manage their discount.

This proposed change and 10 others, including limiting the number of dependent children considered on a claim, and disregarding carers allowance which is currently taken into account when the discount is calculated, can be viewed on the council's engagement portal. All customers are encouraged to read the information and fill in a short survey with their thoughts.

Cllr Roberts continued: "Any change to the benefit scheme will result in those who benefit from the changes and those who don't.  On the survey and the engagement portal we have clearly explained the benefits and the drawbacks of all the proposals to make it easier for people to add their comments to help us understand what our customers want from this service.  We want these changes to bring this scheme in line with changes in the benefit system and to make it clearer, easier and fairer for everyone."

 

Tell us what you think of the Council Tax Reduction Scheme Options here