Session 2012 - 13
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Other Bills before Parliament

Local Government Finance Bill


Local Government Finance Bill

1

 

A

Bill

To

Make provision about non-domestic rating; to make provision about grants to

local authorities; to make provision about council tax; and for connected

purposes. 

Be it enacted by the Queen’s most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and

consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present

Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—

Non-domestic rating

1       

Local retention of non-domestic rates

(1)   

The LGFA 1988 is amended in accordance with subsections (2) to (4).

(2)   

After section 59 insert—

“59A    

Local retention of non-domestic rates

5

Schedule 7B (local retention of non-domestic rates) has effect.”

(3)   

In section 143 (orders and regulations)—

(a)   

in subsection (3) (application of negative Parliamentary procedure to

orders and regulations under the Act), for “(9AA)” substitute “(9E)”,

and

10

(b)   

before subsection (10) insert—

“(9C)   

Any power to make regulations conferred by Schedule 7B (local

retention of non-domestic rates) is exercisable by statutory

instrument.

(9D)   

A statutory instrument containing regulations under any of the

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following provisions of that Schedule (whether alone or with

other provision) may not be made unless a draft of the

instrument has been laid before and approved by resolution of

each House of Parliament—

(a)   

paragraph 8 (regulations about payments by billing

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authorities to major precepting authorities);

 

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Local Government Finance Bill

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(b)   

paragraph 20 (regulations about calculation of levy

payments);

(c)   

paragraph 23 (regulations about calculation of safety net

payments).

(9E)   

Any other statutory instrument containing regulations under

5

that Schedule is subject to annulment in pursuance of a

resolution of either House of Parliament.”

(4)   

Schedule 1 (which sets out the Schedule to be inserted as Schedule 7B to the

LGFA 1988) has effect.

(5)   

In consequence of the amendment made by subsection (3)(a), in Schedule 7 to

10

the Local Government Act 2003 omit paragraph 24(2).

(6)   

The amendments made by this section and Schedule 1 have effect in relation to

the financial year beginning with 1 April 2013 and subsequent financial years.

(7)   

But the Secretary of State may by order made by statutory instrument amend

subsection (6) by substituting a later financial year.

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2       

Revenue support grant

(1)   

Schedule 2 (amendment of provisions about revenue support grant) has effect.

(2)   

The amendments made by Schedule 2 have effect in relation to the financial

year beginning with 1 April 2013 and subsequent financial years.

(3)   

But the Secretary of State may by order made by statutory instrument amend

20

subsection (2) by substituting a later financial year.

3       

Additional grant

(1)   

The LGFA 1988 is amended in accordance with subsections (2) to (4).

(2)   

In section 84Q(1) (application of Chapter dealing with grants other than

revenue support grant) omit paragraph (a) (which refers to sections 85 and 86).

25

(3)   

Omit sections 85 and 86 (additional grant: England) and the italic heading

preceding section 85.

(4)   

In section 141 (payments to and from authorities)—

(a)   

in subsection (5)(b) omit “and 86(2)”, and

(b)   

in subsection (7), for “, 84C and 86” substitute “and 84C”.

30

(5)   

The LGFA 1992 is amended in accordance with subsections (6) to (8).

(6)   

In section 52ZF (council tax referendums: billing authority’s duty to make

substitute calculations)—

(a)   

in subsection (3)(a) omit “additional grant,”, and

(b)   

omit subsection (4).

35

(7)   

In section 52ZJ (council tax referendums: major precepting authority’s duty to

make substitute calculations)—

(a)   

in subsection (4)(a) omit “additional grant,”, and

(b)   

omit subsection (5).

 
 

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(8)   

In section 69(1) (interpretation of Part 1), in the definition of “additional grant”,

for “85(2)” substitute “86A(2)”.

(9)   

The Greater London Authority Act 1999 is amended in accordance with

subsections (10) and (11).

(10)   

In section 86 (calculation of component council tax requirement in relation to

5

Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime)—

(a)   

in subsection (4D)—

(i)   

at the end of paragraph (b) insert “and”, and

(ii)   

omit paragraph (d) (additional grant) and the “and” preceding

that paragraph, and

10

(b)   

in subsection (4F)—

(i)   

at the end of paragraph (a) insert “and”, and

(ii)   

omit paragraph (c) (report relating to additional grant) and the

“and” preceding that paragraph.

(11)   

In section 102(2) (aggregate out of which payments to functional bodies are to

15

be made) omit paragraph (b) (additional grant).

(12)   

In consequence of the amendments made by subsection (3)—

(a)   

in Schedule 10 to the LGFA 1992 omit paragraph 16, and

(b)   

in Schedule 7 to the Local Government Act 2003 omit paragraph 17.

(13)   

The amendments made by this section have effect in relation to the financial

20

year beginning with 1 April 2013 and subsequent financial years.

(14)   

But the Secretary of State may by order made by statutory instrument amend

subsection (13) by substituting a later financial year.

4       

General GLA grant

(1)   

Section 100 of the Greater London Authority Act 1999 (general GLA grant) is

25

amended as follows.

(2)   

For subsection (1) (duty to pay general GLA grant to Greater London

Authority for each financial year) substitute—

“(1)   

The Secretary of State may pay a grant (to be called “general GLA

grant”) to the Authority for a financial year.”

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(3)   

In subsection (3) (duty to make determination about general GLA grant for

each financial year), after “year” insert “for which general GLA grant is to be

paid”.

(4)   

The amendments made by this section have effect in relation to the financial

year beginning with 1 April 2013 and subsequent financial years.

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(5)   

But the Secretary of State may by order made by statutory instrument amend

subsection (4) by substituting a later financial year.

5       

Local retention of non-domestic rates: further amendments

(1)   

Schedule 3 (local retention of non-domestic rates: further amendments) has

effect.

40

(2)   

In that Schedule—

 
 

Local Government Finance Bill

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(a)   

Part 1 amends Schedule 8 to the LGFA 1988 so that it applies in relation

to Wales only (and makes some related amendments), and

(b)   

Part 2 contains other amendments.

(3)   

The amendments made by that Schedule have effect for the financial year

beginning with 1 April 2013 and subsequent financial years.

5

(4)   

But the Secretary of State may by order made by statutory instrument amend

subsection (3) by substituting a later financial year.

6       

Definition of domestic property

(1)   

Section 66 of the LGFA 1988 (domestic property) is amended as follows.

(2)   

After subsection (2BB) insert—

10

“(2BC)   

For the purposes of subsection (2B) the relevant person is—

(a)   

where the building or self-contained part is not subject as a

whole to a relevant leasehold interest, the person having the

freehold interest in the whole of the building or self-contained

part; and

15

(b)   

in any other case, any person having a relevant leasehold

interest in the building or self-contained part which is not

subject (as a whole) to a single relevant leasehold interest

inferior to that interest.”

(3)   

In subsection (2C) omit “subsection (2B) and”.

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(4)   

This section has effect in relation to liability to a non-domestic rate for the

financial year beginning with 1 April 2013 and subsequent years.

7       

Provision of information about non-domestic rates

(1)   

In Schedule 9 to the LGFA 1988, paragraph 2 (collection and recovery) is

amended as follows.

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(2)   

After sub-paragraph (2)(ge) insert—

“(gf)   

that the payee must publish prescribed information in the

prescribed manner,”.

(3)   

In sub-paragraph (2)(h), after “when the payee serves a notice” insert “or on the

request of the ratepayer”.

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Council tax

8       

Council tax reduction schemes

(1)   

For section 13A of the LGFA 1992 (billing authority’s power to reduce amount

of tax payable) substitute—

“13A    

Reductions by billing authority

35

(1)   

The amount of council tax which a person is liable to pay in respect of

any chargeable dwelling and any day (as determined in accordance

with sections 10 to 13)—

(a)   

in the case of a dwelling situated in the area of a billing

authority in England, is to be reduced to the extent, if any,

40

 
 

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required by the authority’s council tax reduction scheme (see

subsection (2));

(b)   

in any case, may be reduced to such extent (or, if the amount has

been reduced under paragraph (a), such further extent) as the

billing authority for the area in which the dwelling is situated

5

thinks fit.

(2)   

Each billing authority in England must make a scheme specifying the

reductions which are to apply to amounts of council tax payable, in

respect of dwellings situated in its area, by—

(a)   

persons whom the authority considers to be in financial need, or

10

(b)   

persons in classes consisting of persons whom the authority

considers to be, in general, in financial need.

(3)   

The power under subsection (1)(b) includes power to reduce an amount

to nil.

(4)   

The power under subsection (1)(b) may be exercised in relation to

15

particular cases or by determining a class of case in which liability is to

be reduced to an extent provided by the determination.

(5)   

Schedule 1A (which contains provisions about council tax reduction

schemes) has effect.

(6)   

In this Part “council tax reduction scheme” means a scheme under

20

subsection (2).”

(2)   

Schedule 4 (amendments relating to council tax reduction schemes) has effect.

(3)   

In that Schedule—

(a)   

Part 1 sets out the Schedule to be inserted as Schedule 1A to the LGFA

1992, and

25

(b)   

Part 2 contains other amendments.

(4)   

Each billing authority in England must make a council tax reduction scheme

no later than 31 January 2013; and the first financial year to which that scheme

relates must be the year beginning with 1 April 2013.

(5)   

But the Secretary of State may by order made by statutory instrument amend

30

subsection (4) by substituting a different date or a later financial year (or both).

9       

Power to determine further discounts for certain dwellings

(1)   

In section 11A of the LGFA 1992 (discounts: special provision for England),

after subsection (4) insert—

“(4A)   

For any financial year for which a class of dwellings is prescribed for

35

the purposes of this subsection, a billing authority in England may by

determination provide—

(a)   

in relation to all dwellings of that class in its area, or

(b)   

in relation to such description of dwellings of that class as it

may specify in the determination,

40

   

that the discount under section 11(2)(a) shall not apply or shall be such

percentage (which may be 100) as it may so specify.

(4B)   

Where a class of dwellings is prescribed for the purposes of subsection

(4A) by reference to the period of time for which a condition is met, a

 
 

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billing authority may not, under paragraph (b) of that subsection,

specify a description of dwellings of that class by reference (wholly or

partly) to a shorter such period.”

(2)   

In subsections (1) and (5) of that section, for “or (4)” substitute “, (4) or (4A)”.

(3)   

Regulations may be made for the purposes of the subsection inserted by

5

subsection (1) for a financial year beginning with or after 1 April 2013 (and, if

a class of dwelling is prescribed by reference to a period of time for which a

condition is met, it does not matter whether the period begins before this

section comes into force).

10      

Power to set higher amount for long-term empty dwellings

10

(1)   

The LGFA 1992 is amended as follows.

(2)   

After section 11A insert—

“11B    

Higher amount for long-term empty dwellings: England

(1)   

For any financial year, a billing authority in England may by

determination provide in relation to its area, or such part of its area as

15

it may specify in the determination, that if on any day a dwelling is a

long-term empty dwelling—

(a)   

the discount under section 11(2)(a) shall not apply, and

(b)   

the amount of council tax payable in respect of that dwelling

and that day shall be increased by such percentage of not more

20

than 50 as it may so specify.

(2)   

The Secretary of State may by regulations prescribe one or more classes

of dwelling in relation to which a billing authority may not make a

determination under this section.

(3)   

A class of dwellings may be prescribed under subsection (2) by

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reference to such factors as the Secretary of State thinks fit and may, in

particular, be prescribed by reference to—

(a)   

the physical characteristics of, or other matters relating to,

dwellings;

(b)   

the circumstances of, or other matters relating to, any person

30

who is liable to the amount of council tax concerned.

(4)   

Where a determination under this section has effect in relation to a class

of dwellings—

(a)   

the billing authority may not make a determination under

section 11A(3), (4) or (4A) in relation to that class, and

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(b)   

any determination that has been made under section 11A(3), (4)

or (4A) ceases to have effect in relation to that class.

(5)   

A billing authority may make a determination varying or revoking a

determination under this section for a financial year, but only before

the beginning of the year.

40

(6)   

A billing authority which makes a determination under this section

must publish a notice of it in at least one newspaper circulating in its

area and do so before the end of the period of 21 days beginning with

the date of the determination.

 
 

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(7)   

Failure to comply with subsection (6) does not affect the validity of a

determination.

(8)   

For the purposes of this section, a dwelling is a “long-term empty

dwelling” on any day if for a continuous period of at least 2 years

ending with that day—

5

(a)   

it has been unoccupied, and

(b)   

it has been substantially unfurnished.

(9)   

In determining for the purposes of this section whether a dwelling has

been unoccupied for any period, no account is to be taken of any one or

more periods of not more than 6 weeks, or such longer period as the

10

Secretary of State may by regulations specify, during which it was

occupied.”

(3)   

In section 11(2) (discounts: no chargeable residents) after “sections 11A” insert

“, 11B”.

(4)   

In section 11A (discounts: special provision for England) after subsection (4B)

15

(inserted by section 9) insert—

“(4C)   

Subsections (3), (4) and (4A) are subject to section 11B(4).”

(5)   

In section 13(3) (amounts which may be reduced by regulations) after “section

11, 11A” insert “, 11B”.

(6)   

In section 66(2)(b) (matters to be questioned only by judicial review), after

20

“section 8(2), 11A” insert “, 11B”.

(7)   

In section 67(2)(a) (functions to be discharged only by authority), after “section

8(2), 11A” insert “, 11B”.

(8)   

In Schedule 2 (administration), paragraph 4 (discounts) is amended as follows.

(9)   

In sub-paragraph (2), after “discount” (in both places) insert “or increase”.

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(10)   

In sub-paragraph (3)—

(a)   

after “discount” in the first and third places insert “or to an increase”;

(b)   

after “discount” in the second and fourth places insert “or increase”.

(11)   

In sub-paragraph (5)(a), for “is subject to a discount of a particular amount;

and” substitute “—

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(i)   

is subject to a discount of a particular amount, or

(ii)   

is not subject to any increase; and”.

(12)   

In sub-paragraph (5)(b), for the words from “is not in fact” to “smaller

amount,” substitute “—

(i)   

is not in fact subject to any discount, or is subject to a

35

discount of a smaller amount, or

(ii)   

is in fact subject to an increase (whether or not the

person is aware of the amount of the increase),”.

(13)   

After sub-paragraph (6) insert—

    “(7)  

In this paragraph, “increase” means an increase under section

40

11B(1)(b) (higher amount of tax for empty dwellings).”

(14)   

In the heading preceding that paragraph, after “Discounts” insert “and

increases”.

 
 

 
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