House of Lords amendments; Commons Sitting 31.10.2012

The Lords amendments to the Council Tax Support scheme were agreed and not resisted by the Government:

"Lords amendment 3 requires the Secretary of State to provide for a review of council tax reduction schemes within three years of the Act coming into effect and sets out certain considerations for that review. .. we will accept that amendment, but we will not seek to overturn it.

Lords amendments 83, 84 and 86 would enable regulations made by the Secretary of State or Welsh Ministers about council tax reduction schemes of billing authorities in England or Wales to make provision equivalent to the provisions of, or the provisions that could be made under, sections 32 to 34 of the Welfare Reform Act 2007. The amendments would also give billing authorities in England power to make additional provision in their local scheme which replicates, or could be made under, those sections. The amendments would allow local authority schemes to provide for extended payments, which are an important way of supporting work incentives.

Lords amendment 85 is a technical amendment. It is intended to ensure that the power in new paragraph 6 of schedule 1A to the Local Government Finance Act 1992, which allows major precepting and billing authorities to reach an agreement to vary payments or instalments that are required to be made under regulations about funds, applies—as was intended—only to regulations in relation to council tax.

Lords amendments 87 to 90 would ensure that the expertise of members of the First-tier Tribunal could be used in the deciding of appeals against decisions made in relation to council tax reduction schemes. The amendment would enable First-tier Tribunal members to sit as members of the Valuation Tribunal for England at the request of the president of the tribunal, with the approval of the Senior President of Tribunals, and only in relation to appeals that relate in whole or in part to council tax reduction schemes".