Low-income residents could be worse off under new Hertsmere council tax plans

PUBLISHED: 16:31 21 August 2019 | UPDATED: 16:31 21 August 2019

The increase could be from several pounds to a few pence every month. Picture: Pixabay.

The increase could be from several pounds to a few pence every month. Picture: Pixabay.


Some of Hertsmere’s low-income residents could be worse off under new council tax plans.

The borough council is making changes to its council tax support (CTS) scheme, which helps households on low incomes pay their council tax.

Under its current benefit regulations, the amount received is calculated by comparing household income to how much money the government says people need to live on each week.

But the new banded scheme - that HBC wants to introduce because it is simpler - would mean that some people on universal income could be worse off,

Per month a lone parent with two children would lose the biggest amount of £6.40, according to HBC calculations, while a couple with two children may get 48p and 68p less.

A couple with one child would gain, if the new scheme goes ahead, an additional £4.52 every month and a lone parent with one child would get another £2.20.

But, the council argues, the new band scheme would also mean big decreases would only happen if people moved into a significantly higher income band.

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Hertsmere borough Cllr John Graham, portfolio holder for finance and property, said: "We want the value of awards to be about the same as they are now, which means we are looking to maintain the amount of council tax support that claimants might get.

"For that reason, we have set the proposed rates so that no one is significantly worse or better off.

"We've put in place a range of ways for you to have your say about the proposals so that we can consider the feedback and decide on a way forward and implement a new scheme in April next year."

The new scheme also considers claimant's earnings after income tax, national insurance and 50 per cent of their pension contributions.

The changes would not affect pension claimants.

People can share their views on the proposals by completing the council's survey online or by emailing in comments to ctsconsultation@hertsmere.gov.uk.

Alternatively, people can write to Council Tax, Hertsmere Borough Council, Civic Offices, Elstree Way, Borehamwood, WD6 1WA.

The public consultation will run until November 30.

For more information about the proposals please go here: hertsmere.gov.uk/Benefits--Council-tax/Benefits/Council-Tax-Support-Consultation.aspx

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