Have your say on cuts to council tax support in Doncaster

A stack of pound coins.
A stack of pound coins.

Doncaster Council is seeking residents’ views on cuts to council tax support.

The local authority needs to find an extra £600,000 of savings after the government announced it is to cut the Council Tax Support budget from the start of the next financial year.

Pensioners’ benefits are protected and the cuts are set to hit working age people hardest in the pocket.

A number of options are being considered to minimise the impact on Doncaster’s most vulnerable people. These options include:

• Increasing the rate at which support is withdrawn. Currently if someone has income in excess of a deemed minimum amount that is needed to live on, Doncaster Council currently tapers off 25 per cent of this. The proposal is to increase this to 30 per cent.

• Taking Child Benefit for all children into account which would affect around 1,784 households currently claiming Local Council Tax Support.

• Limiting the amount of support available to the Council Tax charge for a Band B property which would affect around 1,191 households.

• Limiting the amount of support available to 80 per cent of the Council Tax charge which would affect around 17,068 households.

Simon Wiles, director of finance and corporate services at Doncaster Council, said: “The reduction in Government grant will leave Doncaster with a much smaller budget to reduce Council Tax bills for our most in-need residents. The changes will hit our working age claimants in the pocket.

“We have developed proposals for a support scheme which we feel makes the best of a bad situation, balancing the importance of supporting those residents who most need it with the necessity for a scheme to be affordable.

“But nothing is set in stone, and we want residents to tell us whether, given the position we have been put in, we have got the balance right. Their views will be crucial in shaping the final changes to our Local Council Tax Revenue scheme.”

The consultation on the proposed changes will run until November 17.

Fill in the online questionnaire at www.doncaster.gov.uk/changestolocalcounciltaxsupport to give your views.