The Cabinet was provided with details of the Council Tax Support Fund for 2023/24 and invited to approve the policy.
Members were advised that the Council Tax Support Fund was a new fund announced by the Government and applied to 2023/24. The fund provided support to vulnerable households in England including those households receiving council tax support. Councils had the flexibility to determine a local approach to be confirmed in a published policy.
Three options were presented for Cabinet to consider. It was recommended that option one was implemented. Automatically awarding up to £25 to all existing LCTS claimants was in line with the government guidance. Automatically awarding up to £25 to any new LCTS claimant who became eligible during 2023/24 ensured this was a fair and equitable scheme with LCTS claimants receiving the same level of support regardless of when they became entitled. This would not be the case with options 2 or 3.
On receiving the report Members sought clarification on a number of points, which Officers provided. Officers confirmed that the Council Tax Support Fund was available for 2023/24 only, and any monies not allocated could not be rolled forward. Officers advised that further support was available via the Council’s discretionary support scheme and explained how residents could access the support, as well as how the scheme was publicised.
(i) That the Council’s Council Tax Support Fund Policy for 2023/24 attached at appendix A, be approved; and
(ii) That delegated approval be granted to make any changes necessary to ensure that all the funding is allocated within the specified timeframe to the Cabinet Member for Resources in conjunction with the Acting Chief Executive.