|The demonstration outside Willesden Magistrates Court|
This consultation started without fanfare on November 11th and ends on December 12th.
Now believe it or not the Council, with minor changes, wants to keep essentially the same scheme despite Muhammed Butt vowing that Labour would protect the vulnerbale at last night's Council Meeting.
Below is an extract from the Council website. You can see the full consultation portal and submit your views HERE
Local Council Tax Support 2014-15Who is consulting?Regeneration and GrowthWhy are we consulting?Council tax Support schemes (CTS) reduce the amount of council tax low income households have to pay to the council.Brent Council is now consulting with residents and other interested parties on its current scheme and the option to:• Make no changes other than those prescribed by legislation plus a small change to include an additional group to be classed as vulnerable (and hence protected from the 20% minimum charge) as follows:- up-rate statutory child-minding changes;- review to fully disregard war pensions rather than setting a local discount scheme for pensioner claims;- up-rate the allowances, premium and non-dependent deductions for pensioners for 2014-15;- include those working Age customers on Lower and Higher Rate Incapacity Benefit to the vulnerable group.
The Government is committed to protecting pensioners on low incomes, who it does not want to see disadvantaged as a result of the introduction of local council tax support. To deliver this protection, the Prescribed Requirements regulations contain provisions that must be included in a billing authority’s council tax reduction scheme in relation to pensioners.
To ensure that this protection is maintained, the Government intends to amend the Prescribed Requirements Regulations to up-rate the allowances, premium and non-dependent deductions for pensioners for 2014-15. The Government intends to up-rate:
• personal allowances in line with Pension Credit rates• most premia in line with CPI; and• non-dependant deductions in line with growth in eligible council tax.
Brent’s proposalsWe are proposing a Council Tax Support (CTR) scheme for 2014 -2015 that is in line with the needs of the community and incentivises people to get back into work. Before making a decision we are seeking the views of local people and those who may be affected.Pension Credit Age (100% scheme)If you are of Pension Credit age you will not be affected by any changes. People of Pension Credit age can have a maximum of 100% of their Council Tax paid depending on their income and other circumstances.Working Age Scheme (WA scheme)If a person is not of Pension Credit age they will be on the Working Age (WA) scheme and their CTS will be determined by the rules of the WA schemeWhy We Are ConsultingBy law each financial year the Council must consider whether to revise or replace its scheme. Any revision must be made by 31 January in the preceding financial year to that which it is to take effect. This means the Council must consider any revision to its current scheme by 31 January 2014.
The Council’s preferred option would be to keep the scheme as it is with “No Change” other than prescribed changes to uprating for pensioner claims. We would like your opinion about Brent’s preferred option of “No Change”.
The Council would like your views on its preferred scheme for 2014-15. In particular:
• If you consider that any other working age group should be protected from paying at least 20% of their council tax bill.• Whether you have any comments or suggestions about our proposed Council Tax Support scheme generally.
Detailed information is in the documents listed below:http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2006/215/contents/made
Please click on the online survey link below and tell us your views.When is the consultation taking place?Start: 11/11/2013 End: 6/12/2013Who is being consulted?Target Group: All Brent residentsGeographic area: Borough-wideConsultation methods: Online questionnaire