Making it Fair: Council Tax Benefit and Working Households
This paper is a sequel to Council Tax: the answer?, published last year by the Local Government Information Unit (LGIU), which set out a series of proposals to reform the council tax in April 2007, at the same time as the revaluation of all properties for council tax purposes takes effect across England. That paper, which made the case for retaining council tax, also recognised that the differential rise in house prices across England combined with higher tax rates and generally rising house prices meant that there was no acceptable way forward to revaluation within the confines of the current national eight band system. It, therefore, argued for a reform of the tax through the addition of new bands at the top and the bottom, coupled with the introduction of some regional banding. It also argued for a reform of the administration of Council Tax Benefit (CTB), which would be of particular value to pensioners.
The subject of this paper is narrower, namely the problems that low income, working-age households face with council tax and the means-tested CTB that is meant to help them.
About this report
This report was commissioned by the Local Government Information Unit and written by Peter Kenway and Guy Palmer. The facts presented and views expressed in this report are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the LGIU.