Published Monday, 19th September 2016

The Council is consulting on its proposed Council Tax reduction scheme for 2017/18 and is asking claimants and other residents for their views.

The Council Tax reduction scheme reduces what households on low incomes, low pay or benefits pay in Council Tax. It only affects working age households as anyone who is retired, disabled or a carer is protected.

The Council is proposing to continue to partly fund the scheme to limit increases in Council Tax to low income households. The alternatives would be to either fully fund the scheme, which could affect other Council services, or to pass on the full government funding cut to households receiving the reduction.

The consultation also recommends moderately increasing people’s entitlement to reflect the rise in inflation and to bring it in line with national benefits.

Residents can tell us what they think by completing the short online survey. The deadline for comments is Friday 30 September 2016.

Small increase proposed

Cllr Rita Renton, Executive Member for Community Support, said: “We are proposing to continue with our existing Council Tax reduction scheme, with the exception that we want to make a small increase to people’s entitlement to reflect the rise in the cost of living, so people will not be worse off under the Council’s local scheme. 

“We are asking residents whether they agree with this proposal and for their views on the scheme more generally. We would welcome your views as part of our annual review.”

In Reigate and Banstead we have just under 6,000 households receiving a reduction in their Council Tax because of being on a low income, unemployment, disability or retirement. This includes around 2,500 households who are not affected by the local reduction scheme because they are pensioners. 

Following the consultation, a report will be considered by the Executive in November, and if agreed, by Full Council in December. Any revisions will take effect from April 2017, once the inflationary increase is known.

If you do not have access to the internet you can contact the Benefits team on 01737 276497 for a hard copy of the questionnaire.

The Council must review its scheme each year and has made similar inflationary increases in 2014, 2015 and 2016.

For more information and to take part in the survey visit the current consultations page.