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Local Government Finance

Volume 165: debated on Wednesday 17 January 1990

The text on this page has been created from Hansard archive content, it may contain typographical errors.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he has yet established the criteria he will use for community charge capping.

If authorities insist on budgeting excessively my right hon. Friend will not hesitate to cap them, but it would not be right to speculate on the detailed operation of any charge-capping scheme which might be needed.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if the measures announced by the Minister for Local Government and Inner Cities in October 1989 to limit the increase in the amount of the community charge to not more than £3 per week will apply to charge payers in the London borough of Hillingdon; and if he will make a statement.

The community charge transitional relief scheme will apply in all charging authority areas. In properties containing one or two community charge payers, relief will be paid where there is a difference of £156 a year (£3 a week) or more between the assumed rates bill and the community charges which would be set if local authority spending were in line with the Government's assumptions for this purpose. For properties with more than two charge payers relief will be based on a comparison between the assumed rates bill and two assumed community charges and distributed equally among the chargepayers. Elderly and disabled people who were not former ratepayers or the partners of former ratepayers will be entitled to relief to reduce their assumed community charge to £156. As was made clear in the announcement, however, relief will not cover any excess of the actual community charge over the assumed community charge.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if his Department is considering measures to ensure that his recommendation that seafarers out of the country for more than six months are eligible for exemption from community charge will be complied with; and if he will make a statement.

[holding answer 15 January 1990]: Guidance on the treatment of Royal Navy personnel was contained in the community charge practice note No. 9 "UK Service Personnel". This advised that married seagoers might be regarded as having their residence with their family except for continuous absences in excess of six months, that single seagoers who are householders might be treated in the same way, and that single seagoers with no permanent home address need not be registered for the personal community charge except during periods of shore leave in excess of 61 days. My Department issued further guidance which suggested that merchant seamen might be treated in broadly the same way as their service counterparts. It is for community charges registration officers to determine liability taking into account all the circumstances of any individual case. Anyone dissatisfied with a determination may appeal to a valuation and community charge tribunal.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what is his latest estimate of the poll tax for Nottingham.

[holding answer 15 January 1990]: If each authority seeks to raise from its residents an amount consistent with its behaviour in 1989–90 and with total standard spending of £32·8 billion for 1990–91, its community charge will be that shown in table 2 of the revised exemplifications which my right hon. Friend laid in the Library on 11 January. In the case of Nottingham that would be £254.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will publish an up-to-date list of all the regulations in respect of the community charge setting out the area each regulation covers, the primary legislation giving rise to each regulation, the date each came into force, details of amendments to the regulations and the number of pages of each regulation.

[holding answer15 January 1990]: The information is as follows:

Date of coming into force
Regulations made under the Local Government Finance Act 1988
1. The Personal Community Charge (Exemptions) Order 1989–2 pages7 April 1989
—These cover persons in detention, the severely mentally impaired and patients in homes
2. Valuation and Community Charge Tribunals Regulations 1989–15 pages
Regulations 4 to 8 and 117 April 1989
All others1 May 1989
—These establish new appeal procedures
3. Community Charges (Administration and Enforcement) Regulations 1989–51 pages
All except Regulations 4 and 57 April 1989
Regulations 4 and 522 May 1989
—These define the detailed powers of authorities for registration, billing and collection of the charge
4 Valuation and Community Charge Tribunals (Transfer of Jurisdiction) Regulations 1989–10 pages1 May 1989
—These transfer powers of Local Valuation Panels to the new Tribunals
5. Community Charges (Administration and Enforcement) (Amendment) 1989–1 page19 May 1989
—This inserts a line of print missing from item 3 above
6. The Community Charge (Information Concerning Social Security) Regulations 1989–2 pages22 May 1989
—These enable Social Security offices to supply CCROs with details on persons receiving income support
7. The Community Charges (Miscellaneous Provisions) Regulations 1989–2 pages21 July 1989
—This amends the wording of item 3 above on service of summonses and redefines co—owners
8. The Community Charge Benefits (Transitional) Order 1989–4 pages30 August 1989
—These allow for the transition from Housing Benefit to a scheme of community charge benefits
9 The Community Charges (Cross-Border Information) Regulations 1989–1 page1 Sepember 1989
—These allow for specific information to be supplied between CCROs in England and Wales and Scotland
10. The Personal Community Charge (Students) Regulations 1989–5 pages1 October 1989
—These define full-time students and the functions of certification offices
11 The Collection Fund (England) Regulations 1989–7 pages13 December 1989
Date of coming into force
—These provide for the payments to and transfers from collection funds of charging authorities
12. The Community Charges (Miscellaneous Provisions) (No. 2) Regulations 1989–7 pages28 December 1989
—These provide for local authorities to offer discounts and amend regulations on billing and the standard charge
13 The Personal Community Charge (Relief) (England) Regulations 1990–10 pages21 January 1990
—These provide for a transitional relief scheme
Regulation made under the Social Security Act 1986
14 The Community Charge Benefits (General) Regulations 1989–61 pages
Regulations 1, 59-63, 92, 9311 August 1989
All other regulations1 April 1990
—These provide the operation of the community charge benefit system
Regulations made under the National Health Service Act 1977
15. The National Health Service (General Medical and Pharmaceutical Services) Amendment Regulations 1989–3 pages25 August 1989
—These provide a procedure to identify and exempt severely mental impaired people

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what were the sums raised by the London borough of Newham from its industrial and commercial ratepayers for the financial year 1989–90 (a) in total and (b) per expected payer of the community charge; and what is the sum he expects to pay the borough in respect of the uniform business rate for the financial year 1990–91 (i) in total and (ii) per community charge payer.

I estimate that in 1989–90 industrial and commercial ratepayers will pay about £32·2 million in non-domestic rates to the London borough of Newham. This is £201·64 per community charge payer. Under our proposals for 1990–91 the share of the non-domestic rate pool paid to Newham will be £46·7 million. This is £292·51 per chargepayer. The two figures are not directly comparable. The relevant population calculation for Newham is 159,694.