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Tax benefit help for half of councils

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The majority of authorities creating a local council tax benefit scheme have won transition funding, the government has announced.

The Department for Communities & Local Government said 60% of councils had successfully put in bids for half of the £100m funding pot aimed at schemes which encourage people back into work.

The funding was announced in the final days of legislative debates about plans for a 10% cut in funding for council tax benefit and transfer responsibility from central to local government.

At the time there were concerns about the impact on those on the lowest incomes and the policy had been compared to the 1980s poll tax.

Local government minister Brandon Lewis said the funding was also for councils to invest in reducing fraud.

“There is a real incentive for councils to make savings in the new localised system by cutting fraud and error. These savings may not be delivered immediately so this funding helps councils whilst they design more sophisticated local schemes.”

Criteria for funding:

  • those who would be on 100% support under current council tax benefit arrangements pay between zero and no more than 8.5% of their council tax liability;
  • the taper rate does not increase above 25%
  • there is no sharp reduction in support for those entering work - for claimants currently entitled to less than 100 per cent support, the taper will be applied to an amount at least equal to their maximum eligible award

Allocations for all 195 councils

 

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