Council Tax Reduction schemes in England 2023/24May 16, 2023 –
Since their introduction ten years ago, entitledto has run a survey of LAs’ Council Tax Reduction (CTR) schemes so that users of our benefits calculators can get accurate and up-to-date information about their entitlement to this benefit.
Each local authority’s website is reviewed to find out if there was a change to their CTR scheme in the last year and, if so, the details of the scheme are updated in our rolling dataset. All of England's 296 schemes are included in our dataset and are available in our calculators.
Another year of increasing support for those in need
Each year we also publish a CTR review, reporting on the findings of our survey.
In setting CTR schemes for 2023/24, LAs have had to balance the competing claims of protecting their own council budget with protecting citizens in troubled times.
On the one hand, real terms reductions in government funding and increased demand for LA-funded care mean there is a tendency for other council services to be squeezed, which in the case of CTR can only come about through changing scheme rules to cut awards.
On the other hand, the effect of the cost-of-living crisis on low-income households dominated most council’s agendas this year, and one way of helping them is through making the CTR scheme more generous.
Moreover, Council Tax bills rose by 5.7% on average in 2023/24, and protecting the existing CTR scheme prevents claimants facing the full effect of rising bills.
As with 2022/23, we found that most of those making changes to their schemes this year moved towards making them more generous. Some of the trends we found this year were as follows:
Around 13% of local authorities in England changed how they calculate Council Tax Reduction for 2023/24 (39 local authorities).
The most common change was to increase the maximum support available for the poorest households (29 local authorities). Only one local authority reduced their maximum support.
The second most common change was to introduce an income-banded scheme (12 local authorities). Around 30% of Council Tax Reduction schemes are now income-banded.
We’ve seen 11 other changes which make schemes more generous by way of capital rule changes, extra income disregards, removal of band caps and reduction of minimum awards.
For more detail on our findings you can download a copy of the full 2023/24 report.
We can also provide a further report detailing the now 90 income-banded schemes in place across the country. Use our contact us form to request a copy.
Further ways we can help you
If you work for a local authority that’s thinking of changing its CTR scheme we may be able to assist you. Please get in touch!
Use our contact us form to let us know how we may be able to help.