News

Council Tax Reduction supports half a million Scots

Published: 22 Jun 2021 10:31
Part of:
Money and tax

An Official Statistics Publication for Scotland.

Scotland’s Chief Statistician today released the latest Council Tax Reduction statistics. In March 2021, Scotland’s Council Tax Reduction scheme supported 496,580 households (compared to 469,370 in March 2020) and the total weekly income forgone by local authorities was £7.328 million (compared to £6.525 million in March 2020).

The impact of Covid-19 caused a rise in CTR recipients in Scotland, most markedly in April and May 2020 as the economic effects of the pandemic began to be felt, with a peak of 501,680 CTR recipients in August 2020, in contrast to the gradual decreasing trend observed previously.

The total number of Council Tax Reduction recipients in Scotland is now only 10 per cent (55,800 recipients) lower in March 2021 than it was when the scheme began (April 2013), similar to levels observed in September 2016. The total number of CTR recipients in Scotland increased sharply by 4.4 per cent in April 2020 to 490,160 from March 2020 (469,370), with further increases recorded in subsequent months as a result of the economic impacts of Covid-19.

The agreement secured with local authorities, to cap increases in Council Tax to 4.84 per cent in cash terms (3 per cent in real terms) in 2020-21 is also reflected in the increase in income forgone. 

Background

 The Council Tax Reduction (CTR) scheme reduces the Council Tax liability of lower income households in Scotland. The publication is available at https://www.gov.scot/ISBN/978-1-80201-040-4.

The publication contains figures on Council Tax Reduction recipients and income forgone by local authorities; and further analysis relating to age, gender, family status, deprivation on caseload and weekly award of CTR. This publication therefore covers the period when the impacts of the Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic began to affect the CTR figures and also makes references to the previously published March 2020 statistics for comparative purposes.

The information published is used by the Scottish Government, interested bodies and the general public to monitor the number of people receiving Council Tax Reduction and the amounts being spent on the scheme. The figures are used to help allocate funding for future years.

Tables showing Council Tax Reduction recipients and income forgone in each local authority are published monthly. This news release provides the annual compendium and supplements the monthly release for the data period up to March 2021 published on 25 May 2021.

Further information on Council Tax Reduction statistics, including previous publications can be accessed at:

https://www.gov.scot/collections/local-government-finance-statistics/#counciltaxreduction

Official statistics are produced by professionally independent statistical staff – more information on the standards of official statistics in Scotland can be accessed at: https://www.gov.scot/publications/about-our-statistics/