Questions on the new grant

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  • #43693
    peterdelamothe
    Keymaster

    Hbinfo has been in discussions with DCLG today about the new grant. I have expressed the many views that members have put forward on here:

    “I am sure you will appreciate that there is much fury at the moment amongst our members, both at Ministers and DCLG officials. The tone of the statement made was unfortunate; “doing the right thing” is not really the issue. Secondly, members have spent months trying to get this scheme in place and have listened carefully to officials and followed your published guidance. To now change the goalposts in the middle of October has shocked most local authorities.  As one very sensible senior manager wrote to me: When I think of the amount of time, effort and money that’s gone into the consultation process”. 

    DCLG has promised that your views will be passed on. They have also agreed to speak at the next hbinfo conference and provide members of staff on a stand to deal with queries and questions about the grant process etc. The applications will need to be made in the TWO WEEKS after 31 Jan 2013 so the timing of our event is fortunate.

    So please list any queries you currently have on the new grant scheme HERE and I will send DCLG a list at the end of next week.

    I appreciate this is not a good week to be positive; hbinfo has passed members views on. Now there is a need to try to obtain some of that cash!   

     

     

    #124171
    Anonymous
    Guest

    Q1. lack of time for a second period of consulation is a massive barrier for us to consider revising our proposed scheme, in order to be elgible for the transition grant. Will the Government lift this requirement? If not, why not?

    Q2. Can the Government provide an assurance to authorities that it will not prescribe any sort of cap, limiting the % of liability which working age claimants can be expected to pay in 2014/15? The threat of a cap, (without a corresponding transition grant in 2014/15) is a significant risk factor in deciding whether to alter our proposed local scheme to fit the new transition grant criteria.

    Q3. If the £100m fund is not fully taken-up will the balance be directed to hard working families to help them cope with the impact of welfare reform? (a little bit tongue in cheek)

    Q4. For people NOT recieving 100% support, can we ask them to pay any more than 8.5% toward their council tax? If we can, how much more? (we know from the FAQ’s that 20% would be considered too high but response doesn’t categorically rule out a fig above 8.5% so clarity needed.

    Q5. What is the Government’s view on what would and would not constitue a ‘large’ increase in NDDs?

    #124173
    LouP
    Participant

    This can probably answered by colleagues rather than DCLG (who I am awaiting a callback from… 😐 ). Is the county allocation separate from the billing authority allocation?

    #124181
    RobBox
    Participant

    Point 2 of DCLG statement:

    The taper rate does not increase above 25%…….do they mean 2 6/7 per cent :bigsmile:

    Also, point 3 is still clear as mud to me……….what is it really saying???

    #124186
    jon_s
    Participant

    Will DCLG be looking to distribute any of the money if it is not all taken up by LA’s to those that do apply? :p

    #124190
    RobBox
    Participant

    If we now go for the default scheme in its entirity, can we claim the new grant?

    #124202
    seanosul
    Participant

    The FAQs say that no money will be available for year two, Councils should seek savings from administration and from the technical changes. Does this mean that if we take our share of the £100 million we will not be allowed in year 2 to adopt schemes similar to what we are currently proposing – even though there is no money available?

    #124200
    Daniel_Rust
    Participant

    Q1. Does the restriction on claimants currently receiving 100% benefit not losing out by more than 8.5% apply to hypothetical cases, however unlikely? For instance, it is possible that someone with £15,500 capital might receive 100% benefit so dropping the maximum capital limit to £15,000 would result in nil benefit. This is highly unlikely and the hypothetical authority has no cases that fall into this situation. However, it is possible that such a situation might occur, so would the authority fail the test? There are lots of possible schemes where no one would currently lose out, but the possibility is there no matter how unlikely.

    Q2. What about war pensioners? If the authority takes DCLG’s advice and uses 13A(c) to protect war pensioners, this may be considered outside the LCTS scheme. Would this fall foul of the new guidelines? What about for pensioners? This would be the case equally for prescribed pensioners as for working age.

    #124216
    LouP
    Participant

    [quote=LouP]This can probably answered by colleagues rather than DCLG (who I am awaiting a callback from… 😐 ). Is the county allocation separate from the billing authority allocation?[/quote]

    Just received a call from DCLG – they confirmed the amounts are separate.

    #124238
    alison blount
    Participant

    Q1 Our proposed scheme includes band caps for higher band properties and so on its own would not be compliant but could be made so with added transitional protection. To avoid issues with consultation would it be acceptable to DCLG if we were to adopt our proposed scheme but with an added element to say that in year one the impact of the changes would be capped to 8.5% of liability as transitional protection even though tne underlying scheme would mean a larger change ?

    Q2 At this late stage it may not be possible for software providers to make the necessary changes to systems to enable the cap to apply without LA’s simply adopting the default scheme. Will LA’s be proculded from applying for the cap where it is restricted by software from meeting the criteria ? (I think I can guess the answer to this one)

    Q3 Does the cap only apply to claims on 100% at 31st March ? What about new claims made after that date and changes of circumstances in year that mean there is nolonger entitlement to 100% ?

    Q4 Is the reference to 100% benefit based on 2012/13 CTB regulations and applicable amounts or 2013/14 rates and default scheme regulations ?

    Q5 Can we have a worked example of bullet point three please ?

    Q6 What about changes which will come in with UC such as using minimum wage for self employed cases, this is part of our scheme and would mean a cut of over 8.5% for some. Seems at odds with the principals of UC if we are required to protect these cases. ?

    #124239
    alison blount
    Participant

    Q1 Our proposed scheme includes band caps for higher band properties and so on its own would not be compliant but could be made so with added transitional protection. To avoid issues with consultation would it be acceptable to DCLG if we were to adopt our proposed scheme but with an added element to say that in year one the impact of the changes would be capped to 8.5% of liability as transitional protection even though tne underlying scheme would mean a larger change ?

    Q2 At this late stage it may not be possible for software providers to make the necessary changes to systems to enable the cap to apply without LA’s simply adopting the default scheme. Will LA’s be proculded from applying for the cap where it is restricted by software from meeting the criteria ? (I think I can guess the answer to this one)

    Q3 Does the cap only apply to claims on 100% at 31st March ? What about new claims made after that date and changes of circumstances in year that mean there is nolonger entitlement to 100% ?

    Q4 Is the reference to 100% benefit based on 2012/13 CTB regulations and applicable amounts or 2013/14 rates and default scheme regulations ?

    Q5 Can we have a worked example of bullet point three please ?

    #124407
    su
    Participant

    Re bullet point three – I phoned the DCLG and it was confirmed that if you reduced the liability on which your customers entitlement was assessed, for all WA claims, by no more than 8.5% (and complied with the other two bullets )- you would be eligible for the grant.

    I’d be happier with it writing, but she seemed very happy :~

    #124421
    peterdelamothe
    Keymaster

    I have sent a list of twenty questions off to DCLG this morning based on this thread. Will publicise if and when we get a reply.

    #124427
    Anonymous
    Guest

    [quote]The taper rate does not increase above 25%…….do they mean 2 6/7 per cent[/quote]

    Probably not, but they might mean 3 and 4/7%. H)

    #124441
    peterdelamothe
    Keymaster

    DCLG wrote back:

    “Dear hbinfo

    Your members raise some very important points – thank you. I’ve spoken to colleagues here and I understand that the Question/ Answer briefing is currently being revised. We think that this should answer the questions that have been raised. We will let you know as soon as this is done – early next week, and are happy to flag to you how these question/ answers relate to those raised”.

    When I get the full response I will put it together with a list of all your questions and post on the site. Meanwhile, DCLG are attending the next hbinfo conference all day to help with queries such as the fund, finance, other issues.

    There will also be a session on CTS appeals. I know it seems a long way away but just a few weeks after our conference, claimants are going to want to appeal. How do they do it? To whom? What can they appeal about? Is discretion subject to appeal (as the VO is quoted as telling one member)?

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