Councillors have approved continuation of a Council Tax Scheme that protects the borough’s working age families on low incomes from being landed with a bill they are unlikely to be able to pay.
The local Council Tax Reduction Scheme, which replaced the previously nationally funded Council Tax Benefits Scheme, gives councils the powers to award between 80% and 100% reduction in Council Tax to working age families who are on low incomes. Government forced councils to protect pensioners in their local schemes but did not afford working age families the same protection.
Gedling Borough Council adopted a full 100% scheme back in 2013, despite funding from the Government having been reduced year on year until it cut funding entirely in 2019/20. The introduction of Gedling Borough Council’s local scheme prevented thousands of working age families across Gedling from being landed with an additional Council Tax bill.
Gedling Borough Council is now one of a few councils in the country who continue to provide a full scheme that protects working age families, as well as pensioners, despite the council becoming the worst affected council in England because of government funding cuts. Latest official Government figures show the council has seen a reduction of 21.3% in its core spending power since 2015 ranking it at 359th out of 359 councils in England.
Deputy Leader of Gedling Borough Council, Councillor Michael Payne said:
“Our local Council Tax Reduction Scheme protects well over 3,500 families in the borough from being landed with an unexpected bill as a result of cuts and reforms by central government. The Government rightly chose to protect pensioners when they introduced changes to Council Tax benefits back in 2012 but they decided not to give the same full protection to working age families. Gedling Borough Council decided to protect working age families and pensioners and I’m proud we’ve decided this protection will continue as we move into the eighth year of this scheme.
Gedling Borough Council is officially the worst affected council in England in terms of reduction in its core spending power since 2015 as a result of central Government cuts but we’re determined to do all we can to protect working age families from being landed with additional large bills at a time when they’re already having to deal with rising living costs.’