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Council Tax Reduction in Scotland 2017-2018

This publication provides statistics on the Council Tax Reduction (CTR) scheme, which reduces the Council Tax liability of low income households in Scotland.

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Glossary of terms used in this publication

Passporting benefits – receipt of one of the following benefits has the practical effect of automatically qualifying the claimant for full CTR:

  • Income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance – paid to those who are unemployed and are on a low income.
  • Income-related Employment and Support Allowance – paid to those on a low income whose ability to work is limited by illness or disability.
  • Income Support – paid to those on a low income and under state pension age.
  • Pension Credit (Guarantee Credit) – paid to those on a low income who are over the qualifying age.

Applicable Amount – The amount of money that the government says is required for a household to live on. This is a personal allowance – which varies depending on age and family status – with the potential for premiums to be added. For example, if the applicant is a carer, they would receive the relevant personal allowance plus the carer premium. Some examples of personal allowances and premiums for 2017-18 are given in Table 1 below.

Excess Income – The amount left after deducting the household’s applicable amount from their total income. The household’s total income is calculated as the total income from employment, pensions and benefits (although some benefit income may be disregarded).

Income Assessment – Undergone by applicants not in receipt of a passporting benefit, and who have less than £16,000 in savings, to determine their eligibility for CTR. The ‘means-test’ assessment compares the household’s assessable income (as defined under CTR) and their applicable amount.

  • If total income < applicable amount then full CTR will be awarded.
  • If total income > applicable amount then the household is expected to contribute 20 per cent of their excess income to their Council Tax bill. This results in a tapering effect, where CTR awards decrease as income increases.

Full CTR – The amount of CTR awarded is equal to the full amount of Council Tax liability for the applicant. For example, if the applicant lived in a Band C house in Edinburgh, their weekly Council Tax liability was £20.53 in 2017-18. If they received full CTR, their CTR award would equal their liability (£20.53) and the household’s contribution would be zero.

Partial CTR – The household contributes 20 per cent of their excess income towards their Council Tax liability and the remainder of the liability is the CTR award. Figure 2 provides an illustrative example of a partial CTR calculation.

Table 1: Examples of CTR Applicable Amounts components, 2017-18 a

Personal Allowances 2017-18
Single claimant aged less than 25 years £57.90
Single claimant aged not less than 25 years £73.10
Single claimant aged 60 years to 64 years £159.35
Single claimant aged 65 years or over £172.55
Couple at least one aged 18 years £114.85
Couple at least one aged 60 years to 64 years £243.25
Couple at least one aged 65 years or over £258.15
Child or young person (from birth to the day before their 20th birthday) b £83.63
Premiums 2017-18
Disability Premium for single person £32.55
Disability Premium for couple £46.40
Enhanced Disability Premium for single person £15.90
Enhanced Disability Premium for couple £22.85
Enhanced Disability Premium for child £24.78
Severe Disability Premium for single person £62.45
Severe Disability Premium for couple where one qualifies £62.45
Severe Disability Premium for couple where both qualify £124.90
Carer Premium £34.95
Disabled Child Premium £60.90

a – This table lists some of the more common applicable amounts and is not comprehensive.

b – the child personal element rose by 25% on 1 st April 2017.

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