Isle of Wight Council

04 Aug 2022

Have your say on council tax support

There are more than 5,000 Isle of Wight residents on lower incomes who are presently in receipt of local council tax support.

In the context of the current cost-of-living crisis, the Isle of Wight Council is launching a consultation over the next two months to consider whether the scheme that supports these Islanders should be amended. 

Take part in the consultation here.

The implications of changes to the scheme could affect both recipients of local council tax support as well as users of council services more widely and therefore will be open to all residents to participate.

The results of the consultation form part of the decision-making process for setting council tax and the overall council budget next year.

The main options included in the consultation include:

  • keeping the level of support as it is at 65%;
  • increasing the top level of support from 65% to 70%;
  • increasing the level of earnings disregard from £25 to £30 per week;
  • reducing the amount of support offered to low-income groups.
  • Another new option in the consultation is to consider whether to decrease the non-dependant deduction from £2 to £1 a week. This would help claimants who have other adults living with them by over £50 a year.

Each of the options has a significant impact on the council budget. Higher levels of relief would require savings and cuts elsewhere. Lower levels of relief could lead to an increase in council tax arrears and lower levels of Council Tax collection.

Councillor Chris Jarman, Cabinet member for Strategic Finances said: “Nearly 4% of Islanders presently receive Local Council Tax Support.  The cost-of-living crisis is having a profound impact on residents on lower incomes. The forecast is for this to continue and indeed become more severe due to further rises in utility costs.

“The council needs to ensure that it has a balanced budget and to cover its statutory responsibilities, it must also be mindful of the impact of Council Tax on already stretched household budgets.

“It is important that all Islanders have the opportunity to comment on the options as we start to make difficult decisions about council finances for 2023-4.”

Any changes will relate to working age residents only. Those of pension age will not be affected.

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The results of the consultation form part of the decision-making process for setting council tax
The results of the consultation form part of the decision-making process for setting council tax
Factfile
  • Each of the options has a significant impact on the council budget.
  • The implications of changes to the scheme could affect both recipients of local council tax support as well as users of council services more widely.
 
Isle of Wight, UK