Currently, we have several different ways of disregarding earnings all depending on the residents’ circumstances, such as how many people in their household, how many hours worked and childcare costs. Disregard means we ignore that income when working out how much of a Council Tax reduction to award. Where residents or partners have earning and work over 16 hours a week, an earning disregard is applied. We award only one disregard. The standard ones are:
- £5 a week for a single person,
- £10 a week for a couple,
- £20 a week for certain conditions like disability or part-time special employment.
- £25 for lone parents.
If they work additional hours in some circumstances they may get an additional £17.10 a week disregarded.
If child care is paid for and it is above the amount received free from central government, further disregards can be made for the money paid out.
We propose removing the current earnings disregards and introducing a standard, single disregard of £25 for the residents working over 16 hours a week (and their partner if they have one). All other disregards would be removed.
The advantages are:
- It is easier for us to administer the scheme.
- It is easier for residents to understand.
- It will be more generous for some residents on low income and encourage work. Those who benefit the most are single people and couples with no children.
- It is simple for us to make this change.
- Larger families with high child care costs may get less of a reduction on their bill.
- Those residents might have to apply to the Exceptional Hardship Scheme for more support.
If you know anything else the Council needs to consider please let us know in your response.
Read about proposal six