Council tax support scheme extended for low income households

Vale of Clwyd AM, Ann Jones has warmly welcomed an announcement that the Welsh Labour Government will continue to protect vulnerable and low income households by maintaining entitlements to Council Tax Support for a further two years following the scrapping of council tax benefit by the Tory-Lib Dem government.

Ms Jones said: “Following the callous scrapping of a vital benefit, I was proud to see the Welsh Labour Government step up to the plate and protect those in need of help paying their council tax. Instead of leaving those poorest and most vulnerable in our society behind, we are protecting those that the Tory led government is happy to ignore.

“Despite the £1.7bn worth of cuts to the Welsh block grant, I want to pay particular tribute to the Local Government Minister – Lesley Griffiths for finding the funds available to maintain this support in the face of huge enormous budgetary pressures inflicted on the people of Wales by David Cameron and his Tory war on Wales. I am proud to see the Welsh Government is delivering for the people of Wales in tough times”.

In 2013, the Welsh Labour Government developed new arrangements to help 320,000 vulnerable households meet their Council Tax liability, despite a funding shortfall after the Tory and Lib Dem UK Government abolished Council Tax Benefit and cut funding for replacement schemes. A Council Tax Reduction Scheme has since protected Welsh households. The decision also means that over 200,000 households will continue to pay no Council Tax at all.

The Welsh Labour Government has provided an additional £22 million to fund the scheme in 2013-14 and 2014-15, also helping to offset some of the impacts of welfare reform in Wales. In contrast, over two million low-income households in England are paying more of their Council Tax bill following the abolition of Council Tax Benefit.