To consider the report of the Director of Service Delivery (copy enclosed).
The Committee considered the report of the Director of Service Delivery seeking Members’ approval of a cost neutral Local Council Tax Support Scheme (LCTS) for 2020 / 21 with minor changes to improve the scheme for the customer, whilst satisfying the administration of the scheme of the Council.
The report set out two changes being proposed to the LCTS:
· A minimum income change threshold – Where the change to a claimant’s income was below a threshold of £10 the award of LCTS would remain unchanged.
· Period reviews of Universal Credit claims – Universal Credit customers would receive an award for LCTS for a fixed period of up to six months, at the end of the six months award would be based upon a average of the previous six months income, unless there had been a significant change in circumstances.
It was noted that the changes would help support delivery of a cost neutral LCTS within the budget proposed for 2020 / 21. An Equality Impact Assessment had been undertaken and was attached at Appendix 1 to the report.
RECOMMENDED that following Members’ careful reading of and regard to the Equality Impact Assessment (attached as APPENDIX 2 to these Minutes) the following changes to the existing scheme are approved:
(i) a cost of living increase in line with the Department for Work and Pensions schemes be included in the Local Council Tax Support Scheme for 2020 / 21 for Pensioners only;
(ii) any legislative changes being introduced to the Housing Benefit Scheme for 2020 / 21 are mirrored in the Councils LCTS scheme to ensure consistency;
(iii) the introduction of a minimum income change threshold of up to £10 per week, and periodic reviews of Universal claims with a fixed period of award.