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Rating Reform

Volume 127: debated on Friday 19 February 1988

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To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will publish a table listing the approximate income levels at which people will become eligible for community charge rebates for each local authority in Scotland.

The community charge rebate scheme will be based as far as is practicable on the arrangements for rebating rates set out in the Housing Benefit (General) Regulations 1987. However it is not yet possible to provide the information required by the hon. Member since certain essential elements of the rebate scheme have yet to be finalised, and since neither the benefit rates on which calculations of rebate entitlement will be based nor the local authority community charge levels that will apply in April 1989 have yet been set.

I refer the hon. Member to my reply to the hon. Member for Copeland (Dr. Cunningham) on 16 December 1987 at column 584 in which illustrative rebate entitlements based on a number of specified assumptions are set out. The levels of personal community charge that are quoted are exclusive of liability for community water charges. These will not be within the scope of the rebate scheme, but help with water charges will be reflected in the income support rates and in the amounts which will be used to determine rebate entitlements.