New local CTB Scheme – changes you would make?

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    there is a meeting going on in Scotland next week, part of which is to start discussion on what the new scheme will be (assuming Central gov’t allows truly local schemes).

    So if you were writing a list of attributes for a new scheme what would it include?

    Julian Hobson

    I can think of at least 98 regulations and 9 schedules that such a scheme might need, plus we might need two similar schemes one for working age and one for pension age 😉

    There needs to be an appeals mechanism and perhaps a scheme that means only those with recourse to public funds can access it.

    I could complicate this by removing certain CT discounts in favour of a straight means test such as Students and SMI people.

    If it goes live April 2013 then it needs to be able to respond to the “legacy” benefits AND the Universal Credit for as long as we have dual running, so the detail of UC needs to be known during the design phase.

    I don’t know how to meet the same need that we have now whilst spending 10% less but perhaps everyone should pay 10% (sounds easy). I’m not sure we will be given that degree of freedom as it enormously erodes the 65% taper in UC when combined with whatever taper system we have(and we will need one).

    Whatever we decide presents all sorts of CT collection problems that could mean large increases in non payment and write offs.

    My favourite is to make all Landlords responsible for CT where a property is rented (exchequer burden is then on UC) landlord pays us 100% direct. Owner occs are more likely to pay and if they don’t recovery options are more realistic because of charging orders on property. Radical i know but it might just work ! Seriously though the CT regs will not change in terms of hierarchy and it won’t be an option.

    I’m struggling to see how any LA could come up with anything that could reasonably and “wholesale” be a replacement for the current CTB scheme and achieve the otcomes we and the public want.

    Kevin D

    Ginormous simplification to the legislation pertaining to the following (and much more):

    – time, means and manner of claiming
    – claim dates
    – date of commencement
    – how/when/what changes in circs must be notified
    – effective dates for changes in circs
    – overpayments – when recoverable and from whom
    – content of notification letters

    I kid you not, all of the above can be vastly simplified without impinging brutally on front end benefits. Sure, there would be some claimants who would lose out (a genuinely relatively small number), but the main thrust will mean savings are primarily in admin costs (less admin needed) and the associated costs relating to disputes and appeals (substantially fewer). I’m so confident this can be done, I’d offer my services if asked (and subject to personal circumstances at the time).

    As an aside, so much could have similarly been done for UC. Instead, it’s front end benefit entitlement that will bear a disproportionate impact.

    Lee Fearon


    We also need to think about how your going to include the propsed 10% reduction of funding into the design.

    May need some creative thinking around the SPD element, as Julian suggests. i.e. if abplishing SPD would increase the revenue stream, could some of this be used to fund the 10% shortfall.

    The problem with making the landlord liable is that they will likely pass on the cost to their tenants via increased rent. In certain areas this will run the risk of HB being capped either via LHA or the planned overarching welfare cap.


    Thanks for the replies (any more?)

    Some there I had thought of and some I hadnt (I too like making landlords liable for ctax).

    Enjoy the weekend.


    Central Government funding needs to be clear. Will they fully cover admin costs of scheme. Also, will subsidy payments, if a finite amount be paid up front for the year, in installments as now or at the end of the year, all will have cash flow implications for L/A.

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