|Brent Council Tax Support caseload|
A report LINK going before the next Brent Cabinet recommends that the Council Tax Support Scheme should not be revised to support vulnerable residents despite another expected 3.99% rise in the tax in 2017-18.
The report points out the impact of the Universal Credit Scheme:
The greatest potential impact upon the future level of Brent CTS expenditure arises from Universal Credit (UC) roll-out. This is because the existing Brent CTS scheme provides for a maximum CTS entitlement of 80% of Council Tax liability where a claimant is in receipt of certain benefits including Universal Credit. Tax Credits, which are to be incorporated within Universal Credit in the future, are currently subject to a means test for CTS purposes and consequently generally result in a lower level of CTS award than the 80% referred to above for Universal Credit claimants.
Consequently, when recipients of Working Tax Credit transfer to Universal Credit, they will, under the current CTS scheme arrangements, become eligible for the maximum 80% CTS entitlement rather than the lower level of award that they would currently get as a consequence of the means test applied. The pace and timing of UC roll out is set by the Government and is currently available only to single jobseekers making new claims in Brent although it includes couples and families in some other parts of the country.
If Brent Council were to revise the scheme the changes would have to be be made by Full Council by January 31st 2017.