The Full Council is meeting on 28 January to decide, amongst other things, whether to ratify the final version of the Council Tax Benefit replacement which was agreed by Executive Board in December.
I say 'whether', it is of course merely a rubber stamping exercise and the scheme has to be approved by 31 January or the Council will be saddled with the 'default scheme' which, being similar to the current system, will be more expensive.
As you'll be aware if you visit here regularly, the original proposals have been softened a bit to ensure that NCC qualifies for the one-off transitional grant from central government. However, after this first year it will be back to plan A, 20% minimum contribution and all. The report before full council says -
"NCC considered a number of options based on modelling of different levels of contribution from all working age households varying from 10% to 25%. As a result of this modelling, claimant contributions of 10% and 15% were found to be unaffordable in the long-term for the Council."
I find it interesting that 'not affordable' is always seen as a perfectly adequate excuse for NCC not to do something yet they don't afford this luxury to the citizens of Nottingham. If I find that my 8.5% and later 20% contributions are 'not affordable' due to the amount of money I have to shell out for housing, food and heating etc I'll simply get a visit from the bailiffs.
It could be even worse in 2014. DCLG has been forced to deny that further cuts to the funding for Council Tax reduction schemes are due in 2014. Reports were claiming that a further 8.5% would be lopped off.
They've denied it yes but do you feel lucky?