Enfield Council is planning to consult with residents on changes to the current Council Tax Support Scheme – a formerly government-funded discount scheme on households Council Tax bills – to bring the scheme in line with the London average, as well as invest £1m into the Council’s hardship fund.
Commenting on the proposal, an Enfield Council spokesperson said: “Since the government cut their funding for Council Tax Support Schemes, Enfield Council has maintained council tax discounts on the highest number of households in London.
“But due to the unrelenting pressure on the Council’s budget caused by soaring inflation and rising interest rates, on top of 13 years of austerity, we are being forced to revisit our plans. The cost of giving more than a third of households in the borough a significant discount on their Council Tax bill has increased year-on-year, from £30m in 2018 to over £40m today and could rise to £50m by 2026.
“We plan to consult with residents on proposals to bring Enfield Council more in-line with the London average, while still maintaining one of the most generous schemes in London – protecting vulnerable residents such as pensioners and care leavers, as well as increasing our hardship fund by £1m to help residents most in need.”
The Council’s Cabinet will be asked to consider whether to go out to consult on proposals to change the scheme at its meeting in September and, if agreed, the consultation will be open for 12 weeks, closing in December, to give residents, local community and voluntary sector groups a chance to have their say on the proposals. Feedback from the consultation will be considered before a final decision is made.
The proposals include:
- Continuing to protect pensioners on pension credit, care leavers and war widows
- Increasing the Council Tax Hardship Fund by £1m
- Introducing a specialist team to help residents facing difficulty paying their Council Tax bill
- Increasing the minimum payment for most households to 50% of Council Tax bills
- Capping the maximum discount at Band C property levels
- Changing the calculations on multiple non-dependent adults in one property