Council Tax Reduction: Caseload and Expenditure, Scotland. April - September 2013

This publication provides statistics on the Council Tax Reduction scheme, which reduces the Council Tax liability of vulnerable people in Scotland.

3. Background notes

3.1 Summary of methodology

From 1 April 2013 Council Tax Benefit (CTB), which was run by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), was abolished and replaced by the Scottish Government's Council Tax Reduction (CTR) Scheme. Since then, the Scottish Government have asked all LAs to provide individual record level extracts on a monthly basis to enable monitoring of the caseload and expenditure of the CTR scheme, as well as comparisons between LAs of the speed which they process new applications and changes in applications.

There are two type of records contained in the CTR extract which might feed into caseload statistics. ‘D’ records are ‘live’ cases extracted on a specified date, which is called the count date, although LAs can provide data up to a week after that count date[3]. ‘C’ records are cases that have been ‘closed’ since the previous count date.  The CTR data count dates for April to September 2013 for all LAs are shown below. 

Month Count Date
April 2013 18/04/2013
May 2013 16/05/2013
June 2013 13/06/2013
July 2013 11/07/2013
August 2013 08/08/2013
September 2013 12/09/2013

Using ‘C’ records will identify short term claims that were live on the count date but not on the extraction date either side of this date. ‘C’ Records will also be used to check that ‘D’ records had not in fact finished before the count date.

'C' records do not contain information on total weekly award amount. To enable total weekly expenditure figures to be estimated, it has been assumed that the weekly award for 'C' records was the same as the average weekly award based on the 'D' records.

A full methodology guide can be found at:

3.2 Data quality

There were some known issues within the datasets supplied by LAs that affected the statistics and these have been noted on the tables in this publication where necessary.

The first was that Orkney and Perth & Kinross did not supply any CTR extract data, but instead supplied aggregate data from their own management information system. This was used instead of the CTR data extract to allow a Scotland figure to be published. The caseload and expenditure for these LAs is relatively small, so the impact on the Scotland total will be small. It was not possible to produce age and family type breakdowns for Table 5 for these local authorities, so the figures were estimated based on Scotland's average.

The second was that a technical issue with data extraction on some LA systems meant that the information held on the 'passported' indicator was wrong. A fix was released which resolved the issue, however some LAs were not able to run the extract again after the fix was applied. The LAs affected are Aberdeenshire, Argyll & Bute, Dumfries & Galloway, Dundee City, Eilean Siar, Highland, Renfrewshire, Shetland Islands, South Ayrshire, West Dunbartonshire. 'Passported' breakdowns were not possible for these LAs. This affects Table 3 and Table 4.

3.3 Further information

A full methodology guide can be found at:

More information on Local Government Finance statistics at:

This publication can be accessed at:


Email: Esther Laird

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