A council scheme to help low income families pay council tax is facing a £2 million funding gap.

Waltham Forest Council’s Council Tax Support (CTS) scheme, commenced in April 2017, assists low income working age households to pay their council tax.

Qualifying residents can receive support paying 76 per cent of their council tax bill.

It was initially designed to be ‘self-funding’ and not exceed the £13.4m government grant for the scheme.

However, in 2019/20 and 2020/21 the scheme is expected to cost £15.6m and £15.5m respectively – leaving the council facing the prospect of filling a funding gap of over £2m for both years.

Council documents, presented to councillors at a cabinet meeting last week (Thursday, November ) said cost of the scheme will be “reflected in the calculation of the council tax” for the coming financial year.

Councillor debated lowering the threshold of support to only 60 per cent of their council tax, to meet the funding gap, but instead decided to keep the scheme as it is and find funding elsewhere.

The scheme is a continuation of the council’s first scheme introduced in April 2013 to replace the abolished national Council Tax Benefit (CTB) scheme.