Council Tax

Communities and Local Government written question – answered on 8th September 2014.

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Photo of Hilary Benn Hilary Benn Shadow Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many people in receipt of (a) war disablement pension, (b) war widows pension, (c) war widowers pension, (d) guaranteed income payments, (e) survivor's guaranteed income payments he estimates pay increased council tax bills as a result of recent changes to council tax support in England.

Photo of Kris Hopkins Kris Hopkins The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government

The Department does not collect data about individual claimants and has no plans to do so. These are local schemes, and it is for local authorities to ensure that the effect on specific groups of council tax payers is proportionate and fair. We made a £100 million transition grant available in 2013-14 to help councils develop well-designed schemes and maintain incentives to work.

Spending on council tax benefit doubled under the last Government, costing taxpayers £4 billion a year-equivalent to almost £180 a year per household. Welfare reform is vital to tackle the budget deficit left by the last Administration.

Our reforms to localise council tax support now give councils stronger incentives to support local firms, cut fraud, promote local enterprise and get people to into work. We are ending the last Administration’s ‘something for nothing’ culture and making work pay.

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