- Posted by: Mike Hedges MS
- Category: Latest News
Council tax reduction schemes which came into force this week will assist some 330,000 households, thanks to action by the Welsh Labour Government.
The new schemes – which came into force on April 1st – replace council tax benefit which has been abolished by the Tory and Lib Dem UK Government. The UK government has also cut the funding available for support schemes by at least 10 per-cent. Welsh Ministers have repeatedly challenged this cut and remain profoundly concerned about the impact of the UK Government’s welfare reforms on some of the most vulnerable people in Wales.
The Welsh Government has taken on responsibility for developing new arrangements to support households in Wales in meeting their council tax bills. Extensive work has been undertaken with local government to minimise the impact on claimants and to ensure the new arrangements are viable and affordable.
For 2013/14 the Welsh Government is providing an extra £22m to support local authorities in providing all eligible claimants with their full entitlement to support, despite the shortfall in funding transferred from the UK Government. As a result, all eligible claimants will continue to receive their full entitlement to support and, in contrast to England, around two thirds of current council tax benefit claimants in Wales will not pay any council tax.
The arrangements to provide council tax support in Wales beyond 2013-14 will be reviewed during the year and new regulations will be brought forward by the beginning of 2014. As with the regulations for 2013-14, this will be done in close collaboration with local government practitioners and the third sector.
The Welsh Government will also continue to provide an additional £4 million of support in 2013-14 to help pensioners meet their council tax bills.