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Council Launches Consultation on Changes to Local Support for Council Tax Scheme

Scarborough Town Hall

Scarborough Borough Council has launched a consultation to seek the public’s views on proposed changes to the Local Support for Council Tax (LSCT) scheme currently in operation in the borough.


The council needs to change the scheme from 1 April 2016 because there will not be enough money next year to pay out to those currently claiming LSCT. This is because the Government funding the council receives to resource its services is once again being reduced.

The proposed changes only apply to the scheme’s working age customers. The scheme for pension age customers is set by Government and is not affected by any of the options set out in the council’s consultation.

The changes being proposed are:                                      

  1. From 1 April 2016 all working age customers claiming LSCT would pay at least 12.5% or 15% of their council tax, basing any entitlement to LSCT on a maximum of either 87.5% or 85% of council tax liability, rather than the 90% currently in use.
  2. From April 2016, Housing Benefit regulations are changing so that claims can only be backdated for a maximum of four weeks instead of six months. For ease of administration the council proposes to align its LSCT scheme with the new Housing Benefit regulations.
  3. In another change to Housing Benefit regulations, the family premium, which increases the amount of LSCT people with children receive, will not be awarded to new customers or existing customers who become responsible for a child for the first time after April 2016. For ease of administration the council proposes to align its LSCT scheme with the new Housing Benefit regulations.


LSCT is how the council helps people on a low income to pay their council tax bill. It replaced the national Council Tax Benefit scheme which ended in April 2013 and had been fully funded by the Government.

The public consultation is also considering additional options such as the possibility of reducing spending in other council areas, using council reserves, increasing council tax and implementing financial penalties for those who fail to tell the council they are no longer entitled to a discount or exemption.

The consultation is open until 18 October and can be accessed and completed online at scarborough.gov.uk/consultation

The final decision on the proposed changes will be taken by Full Council in January 2016.

Main image copyright Jeff Pearson licensed for reuse under the Creative Commons

Council Launches Consultation on Changes to Local Support for Council Tax Scheme Reviewed by Editor on 14:21:00 Rating: 5

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