Changes to the way Council Tax reductions are calculated, which the council says will create a simpler system, are out for public consultation.
Rother District Council is asking members of the public to give their views on proposals to make the Council Tax Reduction Scheme easier for residents and less expensive to operate.
Cllr Lord Ampthill, Rother District Council’s portfolio holder for finance, said: “Changes to national benefits has led us to review how we operate this scheme. Making the proposed changes will not only make it easier for residents to understand and access discounts, it will also reduce the cost of operating the scheme.
“We recognise that a small number of people could be adversely affected by the changes, which is why it is so important for residents to share their views with us.”
The consultation covers 10 proposed changes including;
• The introduction of income bands to ensure fewer changes to discounts
• The removal of additional discount for families with more than two children, in line with national benefits
• Using information given during Universal Credit applications to process Council Tax discounts
• Allowing students who pay Council Tax to apply for reductions under the scheme
• Disregarding other adults living in a household when calculating discounts
• Not counting the first £25 of earning per week for applicants working over 16 hours a week
• Not including Carer’s Allowance as income when working out discounts
• Stopping the extension to Council Tax reduction for people who have just come off benefits and into work
• Working out changes to Council Tax reductions from the date circumstances change
• Disregarding additional income when calculating discounts for residents who are disabled or have disabled children
If agreed, the changes will only apply to people of working age.
Members of the public have until 9am on Monday, September 17, to give their views and can do so online at www.rother.gov.uk/CTRS18
Anyone unable to respond online can pick up a questionnaire from Community Help Points at Bexhill Town Hall, Market Place, Battle or Rye Library. Responses can then be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or sent to CTRS Consultation, Programme Office & Policy, Town Hall, Bexhill, TN39 3JX. Full Council will make a final decision on December 17.