Council Tax Benefits

Work and Pensions written question – answered on 11th March 2009.

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Photo of Julia Goldsworthy Julia Goldsworthy Shadow Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the minimum level of (a) weekly and (b) annual household income is at which a household is no longer eligible for (i) full and (ii) partial full council tax benefit for (A) a single pensioner, (B) a pensioner couple, (C) a working-age single person, (D) a working-age couple, (E) a lone parent with one child and (F) two parents with one child.

Photo of Kitty Ussher Kitty Ussher Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Department for Work and Pensions

holding answer 9 March 2009

The level of income at which income extinguishes entitlement to council tax benefit (CTB) will depend upon the liability for council tax as well as the individuals' personal circumstances. For this reason, it is not possible to provide income figures in the way envisaged in the question.

People receiving the guarantee credit element of pension credit, income support, income-based jobseeker's allowance or income-related employment support allowance are deemed to have no income or capital and they receive maximum CTB (subject to any standard deductions for any non-dependant household member).

People not receiving the income-related benefits listed above will have their CTB assessed on the basis of an "applicable amount". The amount is made up of personal allowances and premiums. The personal allowances vary according to age and whether a person is single or one of a married or unmarried couple. The premiums are awarded to those groups identified as having extra needs, for example, long term sick or disabled people and elderly people.

If net income is equal to or is less than the applicable amount, the customer will receive an amount equal to 100 per cent. of their council tax liability less any non-dependant deductions. If net income is more than the applicable amount, the customer will get less CTB. For each pound of extra income over the applicable amount, an adjustment of 20 pence will be made (this is the CTB taper).

In addition, anyone with savings, investments and other capital valued at more than £16,000 will not normally qualify for CTB. Capital of £6,000 or less is ignored. Capital of between £6,000 and £16,000 will be deemed to provide a weekly income of £1 for every £250 (or part thereof) if the person is aged less than 60, or £1 for every £500 (or part thereof) if they are 60 or over.

The following tables set out the applicable amounts, and hence the level at which customers begin to start paying some council tax for the client groups listed in the question.

Pensioners Starts to pay some council tax when net income exceeds (£)
Single person aged 60-64 124.05
Single person aged 65 or over 143.80
Couple, one or both aged 60 or over, but both aged under 65 189.35
Couple, one or both aged 65 or over 215.50
Working age Starts to pay some council tax when net income exceeds (£)
Single person aged under 25 47.95
Single person aged over 25 60.50
Couple 94.95
Single parent with one dependent child aged under one 140.34
Single parent with one dependent child aged one or over 129.84
Couple with one dependent child aged under one 174.79
Couple with one dependent child aged one or over 164.29
Notes:

1. All examples assume no disabilities/no childcare costs/no non-dependants.

2. Rates are for current year (2008-09).

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