Decision details

RULE 4 - Covid-19 Council Tax Hardship relief

Decision Maker: Cabinet Member for Resources

Decision status: Approved

Is Key decision?: Yes

Is subject to call in?: No

Purpose:

Following the outbreak of Covid 19 and the advice of the UK Government on self-isolation and the temporary closure of Businesses and places of work, the Government have made available a £500m Hardship fund for Local Authorities, with the expectation that this will primarily be used  to provide council tax relief under section 13A (1) (c) of the Local Government Finance Act 1992.

The Government has provided guidance on the minimum requirements which this additional fund should address and have stated that residual funds from each authority’s allocation may be used to deliver increased financial assistance though other local funding mechanisms.

Decision:

The Cabinet Member agrees that officers be authorised to immediately reduce the council tax liability for all working age recipients of Local Council Tax Support during 2020/21 by the lower figure of their remaining liability for that year or £150.

Reasons for the decision:

This decision is to be made under part 4C-Rule 4 of the council’s constitution as an urgent decision. This matter is urgent because residents of Bath and North East Somerset have a current and ongoing liability to pay council tax and many are suffering from financial hardship caused by the economic impacts of the stay at home measures introduced to prevent the spread of Covid-19. The introduction of this relief will immediately reduce the financial burden of paying council tax for several thousand residents of working age in receipt of council tax support during 2020/21. In many cases it will reduce the amount to pay to nil. It is undesirable to prolong the hardship faced by residents and the council must therefore expedite the decision to enable reductions in council tax liability to take effect as soon as possible. This decision is outside the budget framework and but for the urgency a full council meeting would be required for this decision to be made, however currently it would be impractical to convene due to the stay at home measures in force.  A full report will be made to the next available Council meeting explaining the decision, the reasons for it and why the decision was treated as a matter of urgency.

Alternative options considered:

None.

Urgent item?: Yes

Publication date: 27/04/2020

Date of decision: 27/04/2020

Accompanying Documents: