Latest Public Sector News


Poorer areas receive less support with council tax – IFS

Families in deprived areas have been hit hardest by cuts in council tax benefit, new research from the Institute of Fiscal Studies (IFS) suggests.

Last April, council tax benefit was scrapped, with local authorities now responsible for designing their own schemes.

The IFS found that this resulted in reduced entitlement for 2.5 million working households, by an average of £160 in the current financial year. Only 20% of councils maintained the previous level of support, and authorities in deprived areas were more likely to bring in minimum payments for council tax, as their funding cuts were greater.

Stuart Adam, a senior research economist at the IFS, said: “Localising council tax support has led to considerable variation in the level of support available. Low income working age families are now more likely to receive more help with their council tax if they live in a better off area without too many low income pensioners among their neighbours. Conversely, working age people living in poorer areas and in areas containing more low income pensioners receive less help.”

Local government minister Brandon Lewis said: “Spending on council tax benefit doubled under Labour and is costing taxpayers £4bn a year – equivalent to almost £180 a year per household. Our reforms to localise council tax support now give councils stronger incentives to support local firms, cut fraud, promote local enterprise and get people into work. We are ending Labour's something for nothing culture and making work pay.”

Tell us what you think – have your say below, or email us directly at


There are no comments. Why not be the first?

Add your comment



public sector executive tv

more videos >

last word

Prevention: Investing for the future

Prevention: Investing for the future

Rob Whiteman, CEO at the Chartered Institute of Public Finance (CIPFA), discusses the benefits of long-term preventative investment. Rising demand, reducing resource – this has been the r more > more last word articles >

public sector focus

View all News


Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

21/06/2019Peter Kyle MP: It’s time to say thank you this Public Service Day

Taking time to say thank you is one of the hidden pillars of a society. Bei... more >
How community-led initiatives can help save the housing shortage

19/06/2019How community-led initiatives can help save the housing shortage

Tom Chance, director at the National Community Land Trust Network, argues t... more >


Artificial intelligence: the devil is in the data

17/12/2018Artificial intelligence: the devil is in the data

It’s no secret that the public sector and its service providers need ... more >

the raven's daily blog

What came first, the bad customer or the bad customer service?

17/03/2020What came first, the bad customer or the bad customer service?

Source: PSE Feb/March 20 Stephen Bahooshy, Senior Commissioning Manager and Nicky Selwyn, Carer and Service User Group Chair, Croydon Council.   Here it is... more >
read more blog posts from 'the raven' >

editor's comment

25/10/2017Take a moment to celebrate

Devolution, restructuring and widespread service reform: from a journalist’s perspective, it’s never been a more exciting time to report on the public sector. That’s why I could not be more thrilled to be taking over the reins at PSE at this key juncture. There could not be a feature that more perfectly encapsulates this feeling of imminent change than the article James Palmer, mayor of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, has penned for us on p28. In it, he highlights... read more >