Council Tax Benefit

MQT on 2012-09-19
Session date: 
September 19, 2012
Question By: 
Andrew Dismore
Labour Group
Asked Of: 
The Mayor


What will you do to ameliorate the cuts in Council Tax benefit which the Government has required local authorities to impose?


Answer for Council Tax Benefit

Answer for Council Tax Benefit

Answered By: 
The Mayor

Written response received 25/09/12.

The GLA is currently assessing the impact of the localisation of council tax benefit from next April including the schemes being proposed by each London borough.

It will be a matter for each borough to determine how they intend to manage the expected 10% reduction in council tax benefit subsidy (or council tax support grant as it will be redesignated) in the design of their local scheme. Pensioners will be unaffected by these changes and will continue to be eligible for council tax benefit on the same basis as now - any changes will therefore be confined to working age claimants.

Boroughs will also be able to take advantage of new powers being granted by the Coalition Government to reduce or remove exemptions and discounts for second and empty homes - which in many cases will allow them to offset most if not all of the reduction in council tax support funding.

Six London boroughs (Hammersmith and Fulham, Kensington and Chelsea, Merton, Tower Hamlets, Wandsworth and Westminster) have indicated that they intend to retain the current council tax benefit system in 2013-14 and therefore working age claimants will generally see no change in their level of benefit. Redbridge may also do so. So this is a local decision.