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.

6. Background Notes

6.1 Data sources and validation

The main data source for this report is the Scottish Government CTR data extract (some other data sources have been used to provide contextual data, such as the number of chargeable dwellings. Where this is the case the relevant source has been provided.) Since the CTR scheme was introduced on 1 st April 2013, the Scottish Government have asked all local authorities to provide individual record level extracts on a monthly basis to enable monitoring of the number of claimants and weekly income foregone estimates. Local authorities’ continued cooperation in providing this data is gratefully acknowledged.

Local authorities are asked to extract their data on a specified date (the count date) although local authorities can provide data up to a week after that date. This means the extract provides a snapshot for each month, and so may include CTR applications that are subsequently revised by local authorities. The CTR extract count dates for April 2017 to March 2018 were:


Count Date


Count Date

April 2017


Oct. 2017


May 2017


Nov. 2017


June 2017


Dec. 2017


July 2017


Jan. 2018


Aug. 2017


Feb. 2018


Sept. 2017


March 2018


There are two types of records contained within the CTR data extract which might feed into the statistics:

1. ‘D’ records: those that were ‘live’ on the count date; and

2. ‘C’ records: those that have been closed since the previous count date. They are used to identify short term claims (i.e. those that were live on the count date for a specific month but not on the count date for the months on either side) and ‘D’ records that haven’t actually closed before the count date.

These records do not contain information on total weekly award amount and so, to enable total weekly figures to be estimated, it is assumed that the weekly award was the same as the average weekly award for each local authority and benefit type for the given month (based on the ‘D’ records).

As part of the quality assurance procedure, the Scottish Government carries out validation checks on incoming data to identify possible errors. Potential problems are identified in a number of ways, including comparing the data received to other known sources; data from previous months and years; and data from other local authorities. Where appropriate, views are also sought from policy colleagues – for example, where a change in the data may be attributable to a policy change. To ensure the data are of a high quality, the Scottish Government then works with the relevant local authorities to resolve any data issues identified. Nevertheless, the CTR data extract is administrative data and as such is not always complete. Where data is missing, the publication and supplementary tables details the number and nature of the missing data. This is particularly true in the Annual Publication where we report on the characteristics of claimants and the weekly amounts they receive. In order to minimise the impact of missing data, at times assumptions are made to amend identified anomalies in the data provided such as assuming that CTR recipients whose weekly CTR is less than their Council Tax weekly liability cannot be on passported benefits.

A full methodology guide is available at:

For information on total CTR income foregone for the year (as in Table 4 of this publication), CTRR and LFRs have been used. These are aggregate returns which collect data from local authorities on the total amounts of Council Tax billed, including the amounts of CTR applied. CTRR and LFRs give better overall estimates of total reductions in liabilities than the monthly extracts as they represent the billing and award position for the year as a whole.

6.2 Supplementary tables

This report seeks to highlight the key messages on CTR statistics. Detailed tables are published as supporting tables alongside this publication. The following list of tables will be available at

1. Number of CTR claimants

1.1 CTR claimants, April 2013 to March 2018

1.2 CTR claimants by local authority, April 2016 to March 2018

1.3 CTR claimants by local authority and passported status, March 2018

1.4 CTR claimants by passported status, April 2017 to March 2018

1.5 CTR claimants by age group and family type, March 2018

1.6 CTR claimants by SIMD decile, March 2018

1.7 CTR claimants by full or partial award, March 2018

2. Weekly income foregone estimates

2.1 Percentage changes since previous month for CTR claimants and weekly income foregone, April 2013 to March 2018

2.2 Weekly income foregone estimates (£’000s) by local authority, April 2016 to March 2018

2.3 Average weekly award by local authority and passported status, March 2018

2.4 Average weekly award by age group and family type, March 2018

3. Chargeable dwellings and Council Tax Bands

3.1 CTR claimants by local authority and Council Tax Band, March 2018

3.2 Proportion of chargeable dwellings in receipt of CTR by Council Tax Band, March 2018

4. CTR impact on Council Tax income

4.1 Total reduction in Council Tax income (£ millions) through CTR by local authority, 2013-14 to 2017-18

6.3 Revisions and further information

Any revisions and corrections to this publication, and previous editions of it, will be carried out in line with the Scottish Government’s corrections and revisions policy. This can be viewed at:

Further information on CTR Statistics, including the supplementary tables, previous publications and local authority charts and tables, is available from

Further information on Local Government Finance statistics is available at:


Back to top