Key Changes to Council Tax Support in 2016/17

Key changes to schemes in April 2016

66 councils changed their schemes in April 2016, a slight increase on the 50 that changed their schemes in April 2015. This number does not count councils that made changes mirroring changes to Housing Benefit, for instance around limiting backdating to four weeks, or removing the Family Premium to new claimants.

Of the councils that changed their scheme, 42 changed or introduced a “minimum payment”, a proportion of council tax liability that all working-age residents are required to pay, regardless of income. Among these, 30 increased an existing minimum payment, 9 introduced them for the first time, and 3 reduced an existing minimum payment.

Other changes include 12 councils that introduced a band cap (2 changed existing caps and 1 removed a cap), 11 that reduced the amount of savings allowed (the majority from £16,000 to £6,000), and 6 that reduced or abolished the second adult rebate. 6 introduced protections for specific vulnerable groups, while 7 removed them (in 2 cases replacing protections with discretionary hardship funding).