Commons questions on new fund; Monday 12 November 2012

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    "it is a shambles, is it not? The Secretary of State spent 12 months telling us he wanted local schemes; he has now had to design a national one. Because councils are getting back only a fraction of the money that has been cut, the Institute for Fiscal Studies says that it is not possible to design schemes that meet the criteria within the funding available. There is no clarity on whether councils will have to spend more money on consultation, and because the grant lasts for only a year, they will then have to design new schemes and consult on them again for 2014". 


    Could not possibly comment…..



    Lucky this clear up the question of having to consult again if you go for the default…. :bigsmile:

    13. Teresa Pearce (Erith and Thamesmead) (Lab): What legal advice he has received on whether councils will have to carry out a new consultation process if they adopt a new scheme of council tax relief in order to qualify for the transitional council tax grant. [127624]
    The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government (Brandon Lewis): As the hon. Lady may know, and as has been the practice of previous Administrations, the Government do not confirm or deny whether legal advice has been received on any issue. Whether further consultation is required is a decision for individual local authorities. Each local authority will have to make a judgment, taking into account the scope of its own initial consultation, the scale of any changes required and whether they require further consultation.
    Teresa Pearce: Given that the Minister only weeks ago announced transitional relief should local authorities fulfil certain criteria, will he give them more time to consider and consult on the criteria by extending the deadline beyond 31 January, which is the date by which he said he would impose schemes?
    Brandon Lewis: We are very determined to ensure that the local authorities applying for funding—bearing in mind that it a simple scheme and that we will take the word of their section 151 officers—will have the money in advance and in full in March, which means a tight

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    deadline. However, if local authorities and local authority leaders are looking at improving their scheme, in order to work with the Government’s scheme to protect the most vulnerable, they should challenge their officers over whether they need consultation.

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