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Local Government Finance

Volume 171: debated on Wednesday 25 April 1990

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To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security whether he has issued any guidance to local authorities as to what amounts of community charge can be demanded from applicants for community charge benefit before their entitlement to benefit has been determined; and whether he will make a statement.

The Community Charge (Administration and Enforcement) Regulations provide that local authorities should issue rebated or unrebated community charge bills as soon as practicable after setting the community charge level. The Community Charge Benefit (General) Regulations provide that entitlement to community charge benefit should be determined within 14 days—or as soon as practicable—of the claim being received, with sufficient information, by the local authority. The administration of the benefit scheme is a matter for local authorities who must decide what action to take if they are unable to meet this requirement.