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New rules for Council Tax Benefit in Herefordshire

All working age taxpayers across Herefordshire will pay some council tax from April following a decision made last month.

A meeting of the full Herefordshire Council agreed to go ahead with a new council tax support scheme based on two principles.

From April 2013, all working age taxpayers in Herefordshire will pay at least some council tax (council tax support will cover a maximum of 91.5 per cent of the council tax bill for these people). The council will also end the rebate currently given to some council tax payers who live with an adult on a low income.

The changes have come about because the government is allowing the council to develop its own rules about how to spend the funding but it is reducing the amount of money it provides to Herefordshire Council to fund council tax support.
In September and October the council consulted on nine new principles for council tax support. There was support for all but two of these principles. The government offer of additional funding for next year means that the authority can delay implementing the wider changes now.

Deputy leader, Councillor Phillip Price said: “The council has worked hard to minimize the impact of the central government £1.4m cut to our funding for council tax benefit. Herefordshire council consulted with residents about how to meet this challenge.

“Of the 15,000 council tax benefit claimants, half are pensioners who will have their benefits protected and will not see any change. Other residents currently receiving council tax benefits will be required to pay approx 8.5 per cent of a band D rate.

“Some discounts will also be removed for single adults and second home owners. We are accepting the Government’s recently announced transition grant to help reduce the impact on people in receipt of this support.