Responding to today's Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) report on Council Tax Benefit (CTB) reform, which was funded by the anti-poverty Joseph Rowntree Foundation, Programme Manager for Poverty Chris Goulden said:
The research done for JRF by the IFS published today highlights the problems caused by the decision to localise Council Tax Benefit. It is a decision that travels in the opposite direction to the major welfare reform of Universal Credit, which is centralising benefits within a single wrapper under the charge of DWP.
While there are some sound reasons for localisation, given that it is a rebate of a local tax, it is likely to create headaches for claimants and for local administering agencies, as well as for DWP.
Not only is the 10% cut likely to affect people already in or close to poverty, the protection from this cut provided for pensioners means that working-age adults are hit that much harder; on average losing almost a fifth of their current support and, in some areas of the country, up to a third.
As IFS conclude, it would have been much better to have incorporated CTB into Universal Credit in order to stick to the principles of simplification and making work pay."