Council tax benefit consultation launched for Rugby borough

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RUGBY Borough Council has launched a consultation on planned changes to council tax benefit.

The proposals mean that all recipients of council tax benefit, with the exception of pensioners, will pay a contribution towards their council tax bill, while a hardship fund would be created to help the most vulnerable residents.

Other changes include ending the ‘second adult rebate’ and a simplified method for calculating benefit entitlement for the self-employed.

The proposals are designed to amend the current council tax benefit scheme to match the reduced funding available from the government.

Government changes mean that local authorities must introduce their own council tax support scheme to take effect from April 2013, while funding from the Government is set to be reduced by 10 per cent, or about £640,000.

Council tax benefit is a means tested benefit that currently allows householders who have a low income to pay a reduced rate, or no, council tax.

Cllr Leigh Hunt, Rugby Borough Council portfolio holder for Sustainable Inclusive Communities, said: “Our proposals are designed to minimise the impact on individual recipients of council tax benefit, while ensuring that there is effective protection for vulnerable people.

“While we think we have a good understanding of how our proposals will affect our residents, we want to make sure that we’ve taken all of the relevant issues into account. Residents can help us by commenting on our proposals and letting us know how they might be affected, and I would encourage everyone to take the time to take part in the consultation.”

The proposed scheme and consultation are available from the council website at www.rugby.gov.uk/haveyoursay, until 15 October 2012.