On Thursday, 9 February, senior council members at Stafford Borough Council suggested amendments to the Local Council Tax Reduction (LCTR) programme, which would result in some families not having to pay council tax for the 2023–24 fiscal year. This month’s full council meeting will decide whether to approve the proposed reprieve for Stafford Borough families severely struck by the cost-of-living problem.
If approved, the amendment would result in zero council tax for the fiscal year 2023–2024 for homeowners with the lowest incomes. More than 4,500 homes with adults of working age will have benefitted from the reform from April. A report sent to the council’s Cabinet states, “The council is extremely conscious that current concerns linked to rises in the cost of living and to energy bills are causing difficulty for many households, with those on the lowest incomes being most affected.”
“In light of this, Cabinet is requested to recommend to council the removal of the LCTR’s 80 per cent cap for the fiscal year 2022–2023.” This reform would subject an additional 1,700 impoverished working-age households non-liable to paying council tax that year. Those who qualify will automatically receive the discount; no claims are necessary. Working-age individuals who were not disabled or parents of children under five were already subject to cutbacks, with an 80% cap in place, which council members are advised to undo.
According to the plans, struggling households with higher earnings than people exempt from paying taxes might also receive council tax savings of up to 60%. For now, the details of eligible income thresholds are not disclosed in the council report to elected members.
News, BBC. 2023. ‘Council Tax Axe within Sight for Poorest Stafford Households’, BBC News (BBC News): https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-stoke-staffordshire-64623680
‘Change Will See Thousands Not Paying Council Tax in Stafford to Offset Cost Crisis | Stafford Borough Council’. 2023. Staffordbc.gov.uk: https://www.staffordbc.gov.uk/news/change-will-see-thousands-not-paying-council-tax-stafford-offset-cost-crisis