Low earners in Northampton may see council tax aid reduced

Councillor Brandon Eldred warned that there is less funding available this year to subsidise the council tax bills of low earners
Councillor Brandon Eldred warned that there is less funding available this year to subsidise the council tax bills of low earners

People in Northampton are being asked to have their say on how proposed changes to the Council Tax Reduction Scheme (CTRS) may affect them.

The scheme, operated by Northampton Borough Council, provides financial support for people on low incomes, to help them pay their council tax bill. Any changes to the scheme will directly affect all working-age households that currently receive a reduction.

The borough council says that, to make sure that the scheme remains affordable for everyone, it is considering three options:

• No change. The maximum amount of CTRS will remain at 65 per cent
• Increase the maximum amount of CTRS from 65 per cent to 70 per cent
• Decrease the maximum amount of CTRS from 65 per cent to 60 per cent

Over the next eight weeks, people can give their views on the scheme and the proposed changes, which will be implemented on April 1, 2019.

Councillor Brandon Eldred, cabinet member for finance, said the CTR scheme is funded with a limited amount of money, which is made available from the Government.

He said : "There is less funding available this year, which means we have to review the scheme to make sure that it continues to provide financial support for as many people as possible.

“I would encourage anyone who is likely to be affected by the proposed changes to take part in the consultation.”

There will be five drop-in sessions at the Guildhall as part of the consultation:

Thursday, 20 September 2018 1pm - 4pm
Thursday, 4 October 2018 9am - 12pm
Tuesday, 16 October 2018 9am - 12pm
Thursday, 25 October 2018 12:30pm - 3:30pm
Tuesday, 6 November 2018 4:30pm - 6:30pm

The consultation runs from Monday, September 17 until Sunday, November 11 and can be accessed at: https://www.northampton.gov.uk/ctr-year7-consultation

If you have any queries regarding the consultation, or need any help to access information about these proposed changes, please email: CTRScheme@northampton.gov.uk or telephone 0300 330 7000.