Council Tax Reduction in Scotland: 2022-2023

Council Tax Reduction (CTR) awarded by age, household structure, income sources and employment status, deprivation index, and Council Tax band in the financial year from April 2022 to March 2023. It makes references to the previously published March 2022 for comparative purposes.

Key Points

  • There were 454,350 CTR recipients in Scotland in March 2023, a decrease of 1.8 per cent from 462,670 in March 2022. These recipients live in almost one‑fifth of the chargeable dwellings.
  • From the introduction of the CTR scheme in April 2013 to March 2020, the number of CTR recipients in Scotland gradually decreased. However there were large rises in caseload in 2020 due to the initial economic impact of Covid-19 before continuing its gradual decrease to March 2023. The number of CTR recipients was 18 per cent (98,030 recipients) lower in March 2023 than when the scheme began. Council Tax and Council Tax Reduction reforms, alongside increases in Council Tax since April 2017 (excluding 2021 where there was a council tax freeze), have also resulted in increases in the total weekly CTR awarded.
  • As shown in Chart 1, the total number of CTR recipients in Scotland decreased over the course of 2022-23 with the largest change, a decrease of 1.2 per cent, observed in October 2022 compared to the previous month. The number of CTR recipients in Scotland remained relatively steady between March 2022 and September 2022 then started to decrease, reaching a record low of 454,180 in December 2022. From January 2023 to March 2023, the number of recipients rose and fell again, remaining just above the record low.
  • The weekly income forgone by local authorities due to the CTR scheme was £7.364 million in March 2023, compared to £6.829 million in March 2022.
  • The provisional income forgone on CTR in Scotland in 2022-23 was £366.3 million.
  • On average, CTR recipients saved over £800 a year on Council Tax as at March 2023.
  • Of all CTR recipients in March 2023:
    • 58 per cent (261,220 recipients) were in one of the 30 per cent most deprived areas in Scotland, the same as in March 2022;
    • 36 per cent (163,180 recipients) were aged 65 or over, the same as in March 2022; and
    • 17 per cent (75,100 recipients) were lone parents, compared to 16 per cent in March 2022.

Changes in Council Tax and CTR since 1 April 2017

Chart 1 also shows the impact the following changes have had on the CTR scheme:

  • The end of the Council Tax "freeze" which can be seen with the increase in Council Tax income forgone due to CTR in April annually since 2017 (excluding 2021);
  • The Working Age CTR scheme was amended from April 2022 so that those recipients who were receiving Universal Credit (UC) were handled in the same way as all other recipients.



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