Agenda Item No. 9(e)
THE VALE OF GLAMORGAN COUNCIL
COUNCIL MEETING: 17 DECEMBER 2014
REFERENCE FROM CABINET: 28 NOVEMBER 2014
C2553 COUNCIL TAX REDUCTION SCHEME 2014 (L) (SCRUTINY COMMITTEE – CORPORATE RESOURCES) –
Matter which the Chairman had decided was urgent by reason of the need to enable the Council Tax Reduction Scheme to be approved by Council by 31 January 2015.
Cabinet was asked to recommend to Council the re-adoption of the Council Tax Reduction National Scheme for 2015/2016 based on the prescribed regulations and reconfirmation of the Council’s discretions.
As part of the UK Government's Welfare Reform Agenda, with the enactment of the Welfare Reform Act 2012, the Council Tax Benefit scheme was abolished with effect from 31 March 2013. The Local Government Finance Act 2012 enabled the Welsh Government to make regulations to establish a Council Tax Reduction Scheme in Wales. From 1st April 2013, a new scheme called Council Tax Reduction was introduced. The Welsh Government’s Council Tax Reduction Scheme ended on the 31st March 2014. For 2014/15 and subsequent years the Welsh Government made new regulations which replicated the existing 2013/14 regulations on which the national Council Tax Reduction Scheme was based. It recommended that the Council confirmed each year its adoption of the scheme and discretions. There were
two sets of regulations governing the scheme.
The Council Tax Reduction Schemes (Default Schemes) (Wales) Regulations SI 2012/3145, which established a single national framework scheme which would be imposed on any council that failed to adopt its own scheme;
The Council Tax Reduction Schemes and Prescribed Requirements (Wales) Regulations SI 2013/3209, which set out the national requirements that each billing authority must satisfy and also enable additional areas of local discretion that authorities might wish to implement.
This was a matter for Council decision
T H A T Cabinet recommended to Council:
(1) That the Council Tax Reduction Schemes and Prescribed Requirements (Wales) Regulations SI 2013/3029 (â€œthe Prescribed Requirements Regulationsâ€) and the Council Tax Reduction Schemes (Prescribed Requirements and Default Scheme) (Wales) (Amendment) Regulations 2014 SI 2014/66 be adopted.
(2) That any amendments to Regulations made by the Welsh Government be reflected in the Scheme.
(3) That the national scheme be adopted with the following discretions –
That the Council should continue to allow Extended Payments up to a maximum of 4 weeks.
That the Council should continue to disregard War Widow and War Disablement pensions in assessing income for Council Tax Reduction.
That the Council should continue to allow Backdated Reductions for a period up to 26 weeks.
Reasons for decisions
(1-3) To enable the Council Tax Reduction Scheme to be approved by Council by 31 January 2015 and be in place for implementation from 1 April 2015.
[View Cabinet report]