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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


5. CTR impact on Council Tax income

When a local authority reduces a household’s Council Tax liability under the CTR scheme, it reduces the amount of Council Tax income it would otherwise be able to collect. Any reduction in Council Tax income, therefore represents a reduction in the funding available to local authorties for providing services a. The CTR scheme, like CTB, therefore represents a cost which is publicly funded.

In Scotland in 2017-18, the total gross Council Tax billed, before CTR, was £2.66 billion and the provisional income foregone on CTR was £329.4 million. This means that total reductions through CTR accounted for over 12 per cent of total Council Tax billing. This is notably lower than the one-fifth of chargeable dwellings in receipt of CTR quoted in Section 4 due to two main factors. Firstly, just over a fifth of households are only eligible for partial CTR as discussed in Section 2.5. Secondly, as described in Section 4, the distribution of CTR claimants is heavily skewed towards the lower Council Tax bands with lower annual liability, and so lower CTR awards.

Information on the total value of all reductions under the CTR scheme is collected via two Scottish Government data collections:

  • Council Tax Receipts Return ( CTRR)

Issued before local authorities’ accounts’ are audited and so collects provisional, unaudited values for the total reductions under CTR.

  • Local Financial Returns ( LFR)

Issued after local authorities accounts’ are audited and so collects final, audited values for the total reductions under CTR.

Table 4 shows the total value of reductions for each year between 2013-14 and 2017-18 by local authority. The 2013-14 to 2016-17 figures have been the subject of audit. The 2017-18 figures are provisional. These figures represent a decrease of over 8 per cent in the total value of reductions in Scotland between 2013-14 and 2017-18.

All local authorities have seen a decrease in the total value of reductions due to CTR between 2013-14 and 2017-18 although there has been, in most local authorities, an increase between 2016-17 and 2017-18 due to the changes listed in section 2.1. The largest percentage decreases since 2013-14 were seen in Eilean Siar (16 per cent) and West Dunbartonshire (14 per cent), with Stirling and North Lanarkshire at over 12 per cent.

a - Further information on funding for local authority services is available in the Scottish Local Government Finance Statistics. The publication is available at http://www.gov.scot/publications/scottish-local-government-financial-statistics-2016-17/.

Table 4: Total reductions in Council Tax income through CTR scheme (£ millions) by local authority, 2013-14 to 2017-18

2013-14 a 2014-15 a 2015-16 a 2016-17 a 2017-18 b
Scotland 359.7 343.8 329.9 319.6 329.4
Aberdeen City 9.8 9.2 9.1 9.3 9.6
Aberdeenshire 7.6 7.2 7.1 7.2 7.7
Angus 5.5 5.3 5.2 5.1 5.3
Argyll and Bute 5.8 5.6 5.3 5.1 5.2
Clackmannanshire 3.7 3.5 3.4 3.3 3.4
Dumfries and Galloway 8.9 8.6 8.3 8.1 8.4
Dundee City 12.8 12.2 11.9 11.7 11.9
East Ayrshire 10.0 9.4 9.0 8.6 8.9
East Dunbartonshire 4.8 4.6 4.4 4.2 4.3
East Lothian 5.6 5.4 5.2 4.8 4.9
East Renfrewshire 3.9 3.8 3.6 3.5 3.7
Edinburgh, City of 27.7 26.5 24.9 23.8 24.7
Eilean Siar 1.6 1.5 1.4 1.3 1.4
Falkirk 8.7 8.2 7.9 7.6 8.0
Fife 21.7 20.8 20.0 19.5 20.2
Glasgow City 71.8 68.6 66.2 64.0 66.8
Highland 12.7 12.0 11.7 11.4 12.0
Inverclyde 7.1 6.7 6.5 6.2 6.2
Midlothian 5.3 5.1 4.9 4.7 4.9
Moray 3.9 3.7 3.6 3.6 3.7
North Ayrshire 11.9 11.5 11.3 10.9 11.3
North Lanarkshire 25.5 24.4 23.1 22.0 22.5
Orkney Islands 0.8 0.8 0.7 0.7 0.7
Perth and Kinross 6.9 6.5 6.3 6.2 6.2
Renfrewshire 13.8 13.2 12.6 12.1 12.2
Scottish Borders 5.8 5.5 5.2 5.0 5.2
Shetland Islands 0.7 0.6 0.6 0.6 0.6
South Ayrshire 8.8 8.6 8.1 7.8 8.1
South Lanarkshire 21.8 21.1 20.1 19.3 19.3
Stirling 4.6 4.4 4.2 4.0 4.0
West Dunbartonshire 9.8 9.4 8.9 8.7 8.4
West Lothian 10.4 9.8 9.4 9.3 9.3

Notes:

a Final audited figures, published in Scottish Local Government Financial Statistics and available at: http://www.gov.scot/Topics/Statistics/Browse/Local-Government-Finance/PubScottishLGFStats

b These are provisional figures which are derived from information supplied by local authorities to Scottish Government on the statistical return Council Tax Collection Return, Quarter 4 2017-18 ( CTRR).

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