Are you missing out on a council tax reduction?: CTRS-2

29 Jul 2020

Are you missing out on a council tax reduction?

Allech chi gael gostyngiad yn eich treth gyngor?

With more people than ever facing financial hardship due to the coronavirus crisis, Finance Minister Rebecca Evans is urging everyone to check if they are eligible for help with paying their council tax bills. 

The Welsh Government’s flagship Council Tax Reduction Scheme (CTRS) already supports almost 300,000 low-income households in Wales every year with their council tax bills.

You may be entitled to pay less council tax if:

  • you believe you live on a low income
  • you live alone, or with people/children who do not pay council tax
  • you are a student
  • you are disabled
  • you are severely mentally impaired

Ensuring that vulnerable households are benefiting from the help they are entitled to is a priority for the Welsh Government. Last year, the Finance Minister commissioned independent research to understand the impact of the UK Government’s Universal Credit on the CTRS and rent arrears in Wales.

The final report out today shows that for many households in Wales, the move to Universal Credit can have a negative impact on council tax reduction awards, council tax debt or rent arrears. The report also provides more detail about some of the options for making changes to the Council Tax Reduction Scheme and highlights the difficulties some households face in understanding the Universal Credit system as well as its relationship with the CTRS.

Finance Minister Rebecca Evans said:

“We recognise this is an incredibly challenging time for everyone, with many households across Wales struggling to cope financially due to the effects of Covid‑19. Ensuring every household receives the council tax support they are entitled to is an important part of our commitment to making council tax fairer.

“Whilst today’s report doesn’t take into account the emerging effects of the pandemic, the findings will help us to consider the next steps that are needed to improve the negative impact the UK Government’s Universal Credit system can have on some of the most vulnerable people in Wales.

“At the same time we are continuing to examine the potential options for reforming local taxation and the wider local government finance system in Wales.”

Notes to editors

Council Tax Reduction Scheme (CTRS)

The Council Tax Reduction Scheme is a vital lever that increases the progressiveness of council tax and tackles poverty in Wales.

On 1 April 2013, the Council Tax Reduction Scheme (CTRS) replaced Council Tax Benefit (CTB) in Wales and eligible households were automatically transferred onto the new scheme.  The CTRS Regulations are closely based on previous CTB rules.

The Welsh Government provided local authorities with £244m in 2013-14 to support them in providing all eligible households with their full entitlement to support in meeting their council tax liability.  The Welsh Government has maintained these funding arrangements each year since.

In 2019-20, the average support provided to households was approximately £990 per year.  All households are encouraged to contact their local authority if they think they could be eligible or to visit our webpages, particularly if they have recently been migrated to Universal Credit:

Link to final report:

English

Welsh