FOI Request - Cost of Living Award

Request 101003041123

1.  How many households in Moray are eligible for the £150 Cost of Living Award announced as part of the 2022-23 Scottish budget on 10 February 2022?

Please give the actual number, not a percentage.

2.  The Scottish Government, in its Local Government Circular 2/2022 - Cost of Living Award April 2022:  guidance to local authorties, published on 10 March 2022, states

"The Scottish Government also expects that Cost of Living awards applied to Council Tax accounts are applied to the 2022-23 Council Tax year liability, and not applied to historic Council Tax debt."

How many of the households in Moray, that are eligible for the £150 Cost of Living Award, have had deductions made from the award by Moray Council for alleged historical Council Tax debt?

Please give the actual number, not a percentage.

3.  What is the total amount of money, in pounds and pence, that Moray Council has deducted/retained from residents' Cost of Living Awards for alleged historical Council Tax debt?

4.  Has Moray Council made deductions from Cost of Living Awards for any reason(s) other than alleged historical Council Tax debt?  If so, please give the reasons(s), number of households affected (actual numbers, not percentages) and total amount deducted, in pounds and pence, for each reason.  


Response 03-05-2022

1. Given that the local authority's Council Tax database is constantly in flux as the manner in which properties are occupied changes, and entitlement to awards of exemption and awards under the Council Tax Reduction Scheme changes, it is not possible to provide a definitive figure on the number of households which are eligible.  What can be said is that when the Council Tax database was initially examined for eligibility prior to 2022 Council Tax annual billing, 33,123 households were identified as being eligible for a £150 Cost of Living Award.

2. All £150 Cost of Living Awards were applied to 2022 Council Tax accounts.

As part of the subsequent 2022 Council Tax annual billing exercise, automated routines transfer monies between an account's financial year which has a credit and a year in which there is a balance due.  This process has also transferred a small number of £150 Cost of Living Awards.  In some instances this transfer was only for part of the award.  This occurred in relation to 73 awards, and the amount transferred was £4,505.61.

3. See the response in regard to point 2.

4. No such deductions were made.

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