The national Council Tax Benefit (CTB) scheme ended 31 March 2013 and was replaced by a locally determined system of Council Tax Support (CTS). The funding made available by Government for the new scheme was reduced initially by 10% nationally and cash limited with further reductions each year expected through the financial settlement. The aim of the support scheme is to provide financial assistance to council taxpayers who have low incomes. Persons who are of state pension credit qualifying age are protected under the scheme in that the calculation of the support they are to receive has been set by Central Government. For working age applicants however the support they receive on the Isle of Wight is to be determined by the Council.
The level of financial assistance for the scheme to be provided by Central Government has continued to reduce compared the level provided under the former Council Tax Benefit scheme. In order to fully or partly meet this funding gap the Council has had to review the previous CTS scheme provided to consider whether the scheme should continue or change in relation to the council tax support paid to working age claimants.
This completed EIA sets out the review considerations in providing the final Council Tax Support scheme for 2020/21 following the Council decisions of 20/11/2019 to provide a scheme during 2020/21. The scheme will change, and this EIA review has been updated.