Finance Minister Rebecca Evans has today launched the next phase of an awareness campaign, which aims to help everyone across Wales understand if they are entitled to support with paying their council tax bill.
Our Council Tax Help webpages and social media campaign have already helped over 60,000 people access the vital information they need on the many forms of council tax support available, since the launch in 2018.
The next phase of the campaign will specifically target low-income households, and those receiving or migrating to Universal Credit, by raising awareness of the Council Tax Reduction Scheme in Wales.
Finance Minister Rebecca Evans said:
We know that the most vulnerable households across Wales are struggling to cope due to the UK government’s approach to welfare reform. However, despite this there has been a gradual decline in the take-up of our Council Tax Reduction Scheme.
So today I am pleased to announce that we are extending our efforts to ensure that those people who are struggling to make ends meet are aware of the support that they could be entitled to.
This is one of a number of measures that the Welsh Government is taking to improve local taxes and the wider local government finance framework so that we can respond to the needs of local services during these challenging times.
Our phased programme of short, medium and long term reforms is wide-ranging and has been in place since 2017. A report out today highlights some of the progress we’ve made this year. This includes:
- Removing the threat of imprisonment for non-payment of council tax in Wales from 1 April 2019 and continuing to work with local authorities to improve council tax collection and debt management
- Standardising, for the first time, how all local authorities treat vulnerable and struggling households through a new Council Tax Protocol
- Delivering a new exemption for care leavers and standardising the application process for people with a severe mental impairment who need to apply for a discount or exemption
- Providing a total of £230 million of relief to support businesses with rates bills
- Exploring more fundamental reforms for the next term and beyond, working with expert institutions to look at ideas such as local taxes based on land value, more progressive council tax or local taxes based on income.