Mark Drakeford has confirmed that vulnerable and low income households will continue to be supported by Council Tax Reduction schemes until at least the end of 2017-18.
The decision will ensure that approximately 300,000 households in Wales will continue to be protected from any increase in their council tax liability. Of these, 220,000 will continue to pay no council tax at all.
Announcing the extension today, Mark Drakeford said:
“When the UK government abolished Council Tax Benefit and handed responsibility to Welsh Government for developing a replacement scheme they also passed on a funding cut of 10%.
“Despite this shortfall in funding, Welsh Government and local government have worked together to secure reductions for vulnerable and low income households. This has been supported by the £244 million we have provided through our local government settlement.
“Our approach is in stark contrast to the situation in England, where local authorities have been left to design their own schemes and manage the associated funding shortfall. This has resulted in over 2 million low-income households having to pay more of their council tax bill.
“Low-income families in England are now paying on average £169 a year more in council tax than they would have if Council Tax Benefit were still in place.
“We’re ensuring that local authorities in Wales will continue to be shielded from the costs faced by councils in England and that the households which need the most support will continue to be protected.”