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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.

This document is part of a collection


2. Number of CTR claimants

CTR data is reported quarterly and this section updates the previous publications. The number of claimants for each local authority in January, February and March 2018 is shown in Table 2. The total number of claimants in Scotland increased from 482,360 in January 2018 to 484,910 claimants in March 2018, in line with previous seasonal trends. Details of claimants and income foregone since the introduction of CTR are available in the Caseload and Income Foregone tables published at the same time.

Table 2: CTR Claimants by Local Authority, January to March 2018 a, b

Jan-18 Feb-18 Mar-18
Scotland 482,360 483,590 484,910
Aberdeen City 13,980 14,040 14,120
Aberdeenshire 11,700 11,710 11,690
Angus 8,770 8,780 8,810
Argyll and Bute 6,790 6,790 6,890
Clackmannanshire 5,200 5,120 5,120
Dumfries and Galloway 13,200 13,240 13,310
Dundee City 17,840 17,830 17,940
East Ayrshire 13,010 13,150 13,210
East Dunbartonshire 5,330 5,310 5,340
East Lothian 6,970 6,970 6,950
East Renfrewshire 4,540 4,530 4,520
Edinburgh, City of 34,190 34,390 34,310
Eilean Siar 2,280 2,260 2,250
Falkirk 13,380 13,410 13,450
Fife 31,060 31,370 31,690
Glasgow City 89,160 89,140 89,240
Highland 17,480 17,470 17,490
Inverclyde 9,800 9,860 9,930
Midlothian 6,530 6,500 6,560
Moray 5,830 5,840 5,890
North Ayrshire 17,190 17,200 16,930
North Lanarkshire 36,430 36,430 36,600
Orkney Islands 1,200 1,210 1,240
Perth and Kinross 8,760 8,860 8,850
Renfrewshire 18,120 18,200 18,330
Scottish Borders 8,410 8,460 8,500
Shetland Islands 1,030 1,030 1,040
South Ayrshire 11,200 11,330 11,300
South Lanarkshire 30,270 30,450 30,600
Stirling 5,610 5,610 5,600
West Dunbartonshire 12,360 12,280 12,340
West Lothian 14,760 14,860 14,900

Notes:

a Claimants are as at monthly count date. See Methodology Notes, Section 2 for more details. Available at http://www.gov.scot/Topics/Statistics/Browse/Local-Government-Finance/Methodology/Ctaxreductionmethod

b Figures are rounded to the nearest 10. Components may not sum to total due to rounding.

In March 2018, the five local authorities with the highest numbers of CTR claimants accounted for almost half (46 per cent) of the total for Scotland. Glasgow City accounted for the highest proportion, with 18 per cent (89,240 claimants) of the total; followed by North Lanarkshire, accounting for 8 per cent (36,600 claimants); City of Edinburgh and Fife, accounting for 7 per cent (34,310 and 31,690 claimants respectively); and South Lanarkshire, accounting for 6 per cent (30,600 claimants).

The three island councils had the smallest share of the caseload with only 0.5 per cent in Eilean Siar (2,250 claimants), 0.3 per cent in Orkney (1,240 claimants) and 0.2 per cent (1,040 claimants) in Shetland.

The Council Tax Band E-H relief was introduced through the CTR scheme, protecting certain below-median income households from the increase. In March 2018, the number of recipients of this new relief was just over 1,000. This new data is classed as ‘experimental – data under development’ at the moment, to allow time for its quality to be evaluated. The number of recipients of the new relief is likely to take some time to stabilise, as citizens become aware of its availability.

Figure 3 shows CTR claimants by local authority for March 2018 in a treemap. This allows a visual comparison of the number of claimants in each local authority.

Figure 3: Treemap of CTR claimants, March 2018

Figure 3: Treemap of CTR claimants, March 2018

Key:

1 = Eilean Siar
2 = Orkney Islands
3 = Shetland Islands
Clacks = Clackmannanshire
East Dunb. = East Dunbartonshire
East Renf. = East Renfrewshire
West Dunb. = West Dunbartonshire

2.1 CTR claimants over time

The number of households receiving CTR in Scotland fell from 552,380 in April 2013 to 484,910 in March 2018, a decrease of 12 per cent (67,470 claimants). Chart 1 shows the downward trend in the number of claimants over this period.

All local authorities in Scotland have seen a decrease in the number of CTR claimants since the scheme was introduced in April 2013. Chart 2 shows the percentage change between April 2013 and March 2018 for all local authorities in Scotland.

Chart 2: Percentage decrease in CTR claimants by local authority, April 2013 to March 2018

Chart 2: Percentage decrease in CTR claimants by local authority, April 2013 to March 2018

The largest percentage decreases in number of claimants were seen in Eilean Siar (21.6 per cent), East Ayrshire (18.4 per cent) and Shetland Isles (16.1 per cent). Whilst Eilean Siar and Shetland had relatively a large percentage decrease, this represents a relatively small number of claimants. The smallest percentage decreases were seen in Aberdeenshire (5.1 per cent), Aberdeen City (6.8 per cent) and Orkney (8.1 per cent).

The number of claimants for each local authority for each month between April 2017 and March 2018 are provided in the supplementary tables.

2.2 CTR claimants by passported status

In March 2018, passported claimants accounted for 63 per cent of all CTR claimants. The most common passporting benefits were income-related Employment and Support Allowance and Pension Credit (Guarantee Credit) which made just over half of all CTR claimants. The majority of non-passported claimants were not in employment.

Chart 3: CTR claimants by passported status, March 2018

Chart 3: CTR claimants by passported status, March 2018

Note: Some 7,245 claimants receive partial CTR yet are recorded as being passported. These have been assumed to be standard cases.

The number of claimants by passported status and local authority in March 2018 is available in the supplementary tables. Some key variations across local authorities are:

  • Glasgow and North Lanarkshire had the highest proportion of passported CTR claimants (69 per cent).
  • East Lothian and Highland had the lowest proportion of passported CTR claimants (at 46 per cent and 51 per cent respectively). These Local Authorities were among the first in Scotland to have Universal Credit ( UC) ‘Full Service’ rolled out in their areas. UC will replace passported benefits, so the award of UC will have to be considered as being assessable income for the calculation of CTR.

The number of claimants by passported status for April 2017 to March 2018 is available in the supplementary tables published with this publication. The figures show that the number of passported CTR claimants has decreased whereas the number of standard claimants increased. As the roll-out of UC continues, the proportion of CTR cases classed as passported will decrease.

2.3 CTR claimants by age and family type

Chart 4 shows the number of CTR claimants by age group in March 2018. The age group with the highest proportion of CTR claimants was 65 or over, at 37 per cent (179,520 claimants). The age group with the lowest proportion were those under 25 at four per cent (18,410 claimants).

Chart 4: CTR claimants by age group, March 2018 a

Chart 4: CTR claimants by age group, March 2018

a – figures are rounded to the nearest 10.

Chart 5 shows the number of CTR claimants by family type in March 2018. The majority of CTR claimants (66 per cent) were single with no child dependent. Lone parents made up 16 per cent, and 18 per cent were couples.

Chart 5: CTR claimants by family type, March 2018

Chart 5: CTR claimants by family type, March 2018

2.4 CTR claimants by deprivation

The Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation ( SIMD) is the Scottish Government’s official tool for identifying area of multiple deprivation. It divides Scotland into 6,976 datazones, each containing around 350 households or an average of 760 people. Each datazone has a calculated ‘deprivation score’ and these scores are then used to rank the datazones. Decile 1 contains the ten per cent most deprived datazones, Decile 2 the next ten per cent most deprived, and so on.

It should be noted that the overall SIMD score is a relative measure and assesses deprivation across seven domains – income, employment, health, education, housing, geographic access to services and crime. The CTR scheme is principally concerned with income and family circumstances as a basis for making awards (see Table 1).

Chart 6 shows the spread of CTR claimants across areas of deprivation using SIMD deciles as described. It can be observed that CTR claimants are heavily concentrated in areas of highest deprivation, with 58 per cent of claimants (280,240) in the lowest three deciles in March 2018. This compares to 50 per cent in March 2017.

Chart 6: CTR claimants by SIMD Decile, March 2018 a, b

Chart 6: CTR claimants by SIMD Decile, March 2018

Note

a This chart is generated by matching of postcodes to datazones. Some 1,293 postcodes records in the CTR Extract for March 2018 cannot be matched with those in the SIMD.

b Further details on SIMD are available at The Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation

2.5 Full and partial CTR

Full CTR refers to claimants whose Council Tax liability is reduced to zero. Partial CTR refers to claimants whose Council Tax liability is reduced, but they are still liable to pay part of the total. Further details on these terms and how CTR is calculated are given in Section 1.1.

In March 2018, just under two-thirds of CTR claimants (305,920) had been awarded full CTR as they were also in receipt of a passporting benefit. The other third of claimants underwent an income assessment. Following this a further 16 per cent of claimants (75,740) were awarded full CTR with the remaining 21 per cent (103,260 claimants) awarded partial CTR.

Of all CTR claimants, just under four-fifths (381,660) were in receipt of full CTR in March 2018.

Chart 7: CTR claimants by full or partial award, March 2018

Chart 7: CTR claimants by full or partial award, March 2018

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