LITRG calls for overhaul of council tax benefit
It is essential that any system of taxation should be transparent, as simple as possible and related to the ability of the individual to pay. In our submission to an influential group of MPs, we argue that rebranding council tax benefit as a rebate would both help simplify the system and improve take-up.
The House of Commons Communities and Local Government Committee has undertaken a short enquiry into council tax benefit, to which we have submitted evidence. In this submission we support Sir Michael Lyons’ proposal to rebrand council tax benefit as a rebate; this should ensure that people on low incomes only pay council tax at a level that suits their financial circumstances. We also comment that, councils should be given increased power to collect arrears by modest deductions from benefits, and bailiffs should be used to enforce arrears only as a last resort.
We also call for closer working between the relevant government departments to identify potential recipients of rebates, and to consider ways to align rebate thresholds across other parts of the tax and benefits system.
Our submission can be downloaded here .
Contact: Robin Williamson (Tel: 0844 579 6700 Fax 0844 579 6701)