Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

Concerns over extra burdens

  • Comment

The publication of a consultation on plans to localise council tax benefit has done little to ease concerns over the financial burden being placed on local authorities.

The consultation confirmed plans set out in October’s spending review for council tax benefit to be localised in 2013-14, coupled with a 10% reduction in its funding pot, meaning councils will have to find £480m in savings.

Senior figures repeated the Local Government Association’s concerns raised when the plans were first floated: that the move could lead to local government taking on extra financial risk without sufficient flexibilities to cope.

They told LGC they were disappointed the consultation had not raised the issue of councils being given wider discretion to target existing discounts, such as the single person’s and empty property council tax reliefs.

One senior local government source said: “In order to make the substantial 10% saving, councils will need to have as much leeway as possible.”

However, a Department for Communities & Local Government spokeswoman told LGC no final decisions had been made on giving local authorities extra discretion around council tax reliefs. “We are keeping that under review,” she said.

The LGA has previously raised concerns around risk, stating that an increased caseload could be caused by issues outside council control, such as future unemployment levels and growing numbers of pensioners, which could leave local authorities facing a shortfall in funding.

  • Comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions.

Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.