The deadline for when councils are required to have a local council tax support scheme in place will be pushed back two months, according to the minister for local government.
In the Government’s response to an independent review of local council tax support schemes, Rishi Sunak MP accepted the recommendation that the 31 January deadline for schemes to be agreed on be replaced by a date in March.
The annual deadline for the agreement of schemes will now be 11 March. This, Mr Sunak says, should give councils sufficient time to plan and design their schemes.
‘Moving the annual deadline from 31 January nearer to when schemes start on 1 April, would give councils more time to consider revisions to their schemes that meet statutory requirements while most effectively providing assistance to those in most need,’ the minister wrote in response to the review.
At the 2010 Spending Review, the Government announced support for council tax would be localised from 2013-14. The Local Government Finance Bill also contained provisions requiring local authorities to implement their own localised council tax reduction systems from 1 April 2013.
The Government also committed to review the delivery of local council tax support schemes after three years. This was carried out by Eric Ollerenshaw OBE who published his review in April 2016.
Mr Ollerenshaw focused on the effectiveness, efficiency, fairness and transparency of the various local council tax support schemes.