Council tax consultation launched

Wednesday August 3rd, 2011

Local Government Secretary Eric Pickles has published a new consultation designed to help more people back into work, maintain protections for pensioners and save the taxpayer up to £480m a year.

Under the existing system local authorities are responsible for council tax rates and collection but do not control the policy on council tax benefit, which is run centrally from Whitehall.

Ministers are proposing to bring all aspects of the council tax system together at local level, freeing billing authorities how best to support working age households and establish stronger incentives for councils to get people back into work.

Communities and Local Government Secretary Eric Pickles said: “Plans to put councils in charge of providing support for council tax go hand in hand with wider economic reforms – such as the New Homes Bonus and our proposals for the local retention of business rates. In future, councils will have a much greater stake in the economic future of their area and greater incentives to support local residents back into work.

“The new system will be a fairer one, where hard-working families and pensioners are not left to pick up a spiralling benefits bill and where work always pays. Councils will be much better placed to attract new business and industry, better placed to help their residents get off welfare and reap the benefits of work instead. They will directly benefit from improving the prosperity of the local area that will in turn drive down their benefit bill.”

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