Since 1 January 2004, units of self-contained living accommodation within care homes (within the meaning of the Care Standards Act 2000, in respect of which a person is registered in accordance with Part 2 of that Act) in England have been treated as comprising a single dwelling for council tax purposes, except that any accommodation provided for the registered person is banded separately.
A very large majority of respondents to the Government’s 2003 consultation on making this change in the council tax treatment of care homes supported the proposals. No respondents suggested that similar rules should also be applied to other residential homes not falling within the definition above, and we have no plans to change the current rules.
The Government welcome local authority initiatives to encourage householders to reduce energy consumption. We said in the Energy Review, published in July 2006, that we would set out proposals that provide a framework to encourage all local authorities to take action on climate change, in the Local Government White Paper later this year.
Most local authority council tax discount schemes are at any early stage, and my Department has made no assessment of their effectiveness in encouraging householders to make their homes more energy- efficient.
The capped authorities provided estimated rebilling costs as part of the documentation accompanying their challenge to the maximum budget requirement proposed by the Secretary of State. These totalled:
2005-06: £661,147 - £781,147
Capped authorities were required to make £2,944,626 of reductions to their budgets in 2004-05 and £4,489,846 of reductions in 2005-06.
Dwellings occupied only by school leavers, students, or students and their partners or dependants, not being British citizens and being prevented by the terms of their leave to enter or remain in the United Kingdom from taking paid employment or from claiming benefits, are exempt from council tax under Class N of the Council Tax (Exempt Dwellings) Order 1992. The Department does not hold figures for the number of dwellings that fall to be exempt under Class N because they are occupied solely by non-British spouses and their student partners, independently of data on the number of dwellings falling to be exempt under Class N as a whole.
Where a non-British partner of a student meeting the criteria above lives in a household with non-students or any other non-disregarded person they are disregarded for the purposes of calculating the household’s bill. The number of non-British partners counted as being disregarded, and reported by local authorities to the Department for Communities and Local Government on the CTB1(S) forms, in (a) each local authority in Shropshire and (b) England as at (i) 1 November 2004 and (ii) 10 October 2005 are shown in the following table. The data for 2006 are not yet available.
1 November 2004 10 October 2005 Bridgnorth 0 0 North Shropshire 0 0 Oswestry 0 0 Shrewsbury and Atcham 0 27 South Shropshire 0 0 Total England 376 131
1 November 2004
10 October 2005
Shrewsbury and Atcham
Those writing to my Department with suggestions for the reform of council tax have been advised to put their ideas to the Lyons Inquiry into local government funding. Sir Michael Lyons set a deadline of 14 September for receiving submissions for consideration by his Inquiry. Since that date my Department has received no representations on the number of council tax bands.
Those writing to my Department with suggestions for the reform of council tax have been advised to put their ideas to the Lyons Inquiry into local government funding.
Sir Michael Lyons set a deadline of 14 September for receiving submissions for consideration by his Inquiry. Since that date we have received no representations on the separate banding of flats within sheltered housing schemes.