Council Tax Reduction (CTR) scheme

Closes 1 Dec 2020

Why make the scheme more supportive

COVID-19 has affected everyone in the city and those on a low income are particularly vulnerable. We are still assessing the ongoing economic impact on the city, but we know that our CTR caseload has increased by around 12% since March 2020.  

Since lockdown in March 2020, the government has introduced various measures to support people financially, including temporary increases to Universal Credit, and additional help towards CTR. Up to an extra £150 was given to those who were already receiving CTR, meaning that some had nothing to pay, or at least a reduced bill compared to what they were expecting.

At present, there are no known plans to continue the increase to Universal Credit into April, or the extra £150 for Council Tax Reduction. This means that those who are in the lowest income range will experience a sudden drop of income in April and will also receive increased Council Tax bills.

We know also from feedback from the voluntary sector and our own collection teams that debt is an increasing issue for people in the city and impacts more heavily on those who already have a low income. Whilst there are lots of ways that our Council Tax team can help people come to arrangements with their arrears, in some cases the combined debt burden makes recovery of arrears difficult and increases the risk of families falling further into poverty. 

By making CTR more supportive, the council could alleviate some of this pressure for thousands of residents on low incomes.

Q1a. Do you agree or disagree with making the CTR scheme more supportive to people on the lowest incomes, if funding allows?