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11

 

House of Commons

 
 

Notices of Amendments

 

given on

 

Wednesday 16 May 2012

 

For other Amendment(s) see the following page(s) of Supplement to Votes:

 

4089-90, 4091-92, 4093, 4095-96 and 4097-98 (Session 2010-12) and

 

1-5 (Session 2012-13)

 

Consideration of Bill


 

Local Government Finance Bill, As Amended

 

Regulations about powers to require information, offences and penalties

 

Secretary Eric Pickles

 

NC9

 

To move the following Clause:—

 

‘(1)    

The LGFA 1992 is amended as follows.

 

(2)    

After section 14 insert—

 

“14A  

Regulations about powers to require information

 

(1)    

The appropriate authority may by regulations provide for the exercise, for

 

prescribed council tax purposes, of—

 

(a)    

powers to require the provision of information;

 

(b)    

powers to require a person to enter into arrangements under

 

which access is permitted to the person’s electronic records.

 

(2)    

The appropriate authority may by regulations make provision about

 

arrangements for access to electronic records for prescribed council tax

 

purposes where the arrangements are entered into otherwise than under a

 

requirement of the kind mentioned in subsection (1)(b).

 

(3)    

The appropriate authority may by regulations—

 

(a)    

make provision about the persons by whom powers conferred by

 

regulations under this section may be exercised;

 

(b)    

make provision about the persons by whom arrangements under

 

regulations under this section may be made;

 

(c)    

in particular, make provision for the authorisation by billing

 

authorities of persons to exercise those powers or make those

 

arrangements.

 

(4)    

The provision that may be made by regulations under this section

 

includes, in particular, provision equivalent to—


 
 

Notices of Amendments: 16 May 2012                     

12

 

Local Government Finance Bill, continued

 
 

(a)    

provision made by a relevant enactment, or

 

(b)    

provision that is capable of being made under a relevant

 

enactment,

 

    

with such modifications as the appropriate authority thinks fit

 

(5)    

For the purposes of subsection (4), each of the following enactments as it

 

had effect on the day on which the Local Government Finance Act 2012

 

was passed is a “relevant enactment”—

 

(a)    

section 109A(8) of the Social Security Administration Act 1992

 

(application of section 109B of that Act to the Crown);

 

(b)    

section 109B of that Act (powers to require information);

 

(c)    

section 110A of that Act (authorisations by local authorities to

 

exercise powers of investigation);

 

(d)    

section 110AA of that Act (power of local authority to require

 

electronic access to information);

 

(e)    

section 121DA of that Act (interpretation of Part 6 of that Act);

 

(f)    

section 191 of that Act (interpretation of that Act).

 

(6)    

This section does not affect the operation of Schedule 2 (administration

 

of council tax).

 

(7)    

In this section “council tax purposes” means purposes relating to a

 

person’s liability to pay council tax.

 

14B    

Regulations about offences

 

(1)    

The appropriate authority may by regulations provide for the creation of

 

offences that may be committed by a person in prescribed

 

circumstances—

 

(a)    

by intentionally delaying or obstructing a person in the exercise

 

of a power conferred by regulations under section 14A(1);

 

(b)    

by refusing or failing to comply with any requirement under

 

regulations under section 14A(1)(b) or with the requirements of

 

any arrangements entered into in accordance with such

 

regulations;

 

(c)    

by refusing or failing, when required to do so by or under this Act

 

or by or under regulations made under this Act, to provide any

 

information or document in connection with a person’s liability

 

to pay council tax;

 

(d)    

by making a false statement or representation in connection with

 

such liability;

 

(e)    

by providing, or causing or allowing to be provided, in

 

connection with such liability, a document or information which

 

is false;

 

(f)    

by failing to notify, or causing or allowing a person to fail to

 

notify, a matter that is relevant to such liability (including in

 

particular any matter that is required to be notified by or under

 

this Act or by or under regulations made under this Act).

 

(2)    

Regulations under subsection (1)(a), (b) or (c)—

 

(a)    

must provide for an offence under the regulations to be triable

 

only summarily;

 

(b)    

may not provide for such an offence to be punishable with a fine

 

exceeding level 3 on the standard scale.


 
 

Notices of Amendments: 16 May 2012                     

13

 

Local Government Finance Bill, continued

 
 

(3)    

Regulations under subsection (1)(a), (b) or (c)—

 

(a)    

may provide, in a case where a person is convicted of an offence

 

under the regulations and the act or omission constituting the

 

offence continues after the conviction, for the person to be guilty

 

of a further offence and liable on summary conviction to a daily

 

fine;

 

(b)    

may not provide for the daily fine to exceed £40.

 

(4)    

Regulations under subsection (1)(d), (e) or (f) that create an offence that

 

may only be committed by a person acting dishonestly—

 

(a)    

must provide for the offence to be triable summarily or on

 

indictment;

 

(b)    

may not provide for the offence to be punishable on summary

 

conviction with imprisonment for a term exceeding 12 months or

 

with a fine exceeding the statutory maximum;

 

(c)    

may not provide for the offence to be punishable on conviction

 

on indictment with imprisonment for a term exceeding 7 years

 

(and may provide for the offence to be punishable on conviction

 

on indictment with a fine).

 

(5)    

Regulations under this section which create an offence within subsection

 

(4) that may be committed before the date that section 154(1) of the

 

Criminal Justice Act 2003 comes into force may not provide for such an

 

offence committed before that date to be punishable on summary

 

conviction with imprisonment for a term exceeding 6 months.

 

(6)    

Regulations under subsection (1)(d), (e) or (f) that create an offence that

 

may be committed by a person acting otherwise than dishonestly—

 

(a)    

must provide for the offence to be triable only summarily;

 

(b)    

may not provide for the offence to be punishable with

 

imprisonment for a term exceeding 51 weeks or with a fine

 

exceeding level 5 on the standard scale.

 

(7)    

Regulations under this section which create an offence within subsection

 

(6) that may be committed before the date that section 281(5) of the

 

Criminal Justice Act 2003 comes into force may not provide for such an

 

offence committed before that date to be punishable with imprisonment

 

for a term exceeding 3 months.

 

(8)    

The appropriate authority may by regulations make provision—

 

(a)    

about defences to an offence under regulations under this

 

section;

 

(b)    

about the commission by a body corporate of such an offence;

 

(c)    

about the conduct of proceedings for such an offence;

 

(d)    

about the time limits for bringing such proceedings;

 

(e)    

about the determination of issues arising in such proceedings;

 

(f)    

about other matters of procedure and evidence in relation to such

 

offences.

 

(9)    

The provision that may be made by regulations under this section

 

includes, in particular, provision equivalent to—

 

(a)    

provision made by a relevant enactment, or

 

(b)    

provision that is capable of being made under a relevant

 

enactment,

 

    

with such modifications as the appropriate authority thinks fit


 
 

Notices of Amendments: 16 May 2012                     

14

 

Local Government Finance Bill, continued

 
 

(10)    

For the purposes of subsection (9), each of the following enactments as it

 

had effect on the day on which the Local Government Finance Act 2012

 

was passed is a “relevant enactment”—

 

(a)    

section 111 of the Social Security Administration Act 1992

 

(offences relating to powers under that Act);

 

(b)    

section 111A of that Act (dishonest representations for obtaining

 

benefit etc);

 

(c)    

section 112 of that Act (false representations for obtaining

 

benefit etc.);

 

(d)    

section 115 of that Act (offences by bodies corporate);

 

(e)    

section 116 of that Act (legal proceedings);

 

(f)    

section 121DA of that Act (interpretation of Part 6 of that Act);

 

(g)    

section 191 of that Act (interpretation of that Act).

 

14C    

Regulations about penalties

 

(1)    

The appropriate authority may by regulations make provision for the

 

imposition of a penalty by a billing authority on a person where in

 

prescribed circumstances—

 

(a)    

that person’s act or omission results or could result in the amount

 

of council tax that a person (“P”) is liable to pay being reduced

 

or subject to a discount, and

 

(b)    

P is not or will not be entitled to that reduction or discount.

 

(2)    

The appropriate authority may by regulations make provision for the

 

imposition of a penalty by a billing authority on a person where in

 

prescribed circumstances—

 

(a)    

that person’s act or omission results or could result in a dwelling

 

in respect of which a person (“P”) would otherwise be liable to

 

pay council tax being treated as an exempt dwelling for a period,

 

and

 

(b)    

the dwelling is not or will not be an exempt dwelling for all or

 

part of that period.

 

(3)    

Regulations under this section must—

 

(a)    

make provision with the effect that a penalty may only be

 

imposed on a person where the person agrees to the imposition

 

of the penalty as an alternative to criminal proceedings being

 

taken against the person in respect of the act or omission to

 

which the penalty relates,

 

(b)    

make provision with the effect that a penalty may only be

 

imposed on a person where the person has not been charged with

 

an offence in respect of the act or omission to which the penalty

 

relates, or

 

(c)    

make provision within paragraph (a) and (b).

 

(4)    

This section does not affect the operation of Schedule 3 (penalties).

 

(5)    

The provision that may be made by regulations under this section

 

includes, in particular, provision equivalent to—

 

(a)    

provision made by a relevant enactment, or

 

(b)    

provision that is capable of being made under a relevant

 

enactment,

 

    

with such modifications as the appropriate authority thinks fit.


 
 

Notices of Amendments: 16 May 2012                     

15

 

Local Government Finance Bill, continued

 
 

(6)    

For the purposes of subsection (5), each of the following is a “relevant

 

enactment”—

 

(a)    

section 115A of the Social Security Administration Act 1992

 

(penalty as alternative to prosecution);

 

(b)    

section 115B of that Act (penalty as alternative to prosecution:

 

colluding employers etc);

 

(c)    

section 115C of that Act (penalties in respect of incorrect

 

statements etc);

 

(d)    

section 115D of that Act (penalties in respect of failures to

 

disclose information);

 

(e)    

section 121DA of that Act (interpretation of Part 6 of that Act);

 

(f)    

section 191 of that Act (interpretation of that Act).

 

(7)    

The reference in subsection (6)—

 

(a)    

to section 115C or 115D of the Social Security Administration

 

Act 1992 is to that section without the repeals in it contained in

 

Part 1 of Schedule 14 to the Welfare Reform Act 2012;

 

(b)    

to any other provision of that Act is to the provision as it had

 

effect on the day on which the Local Government Finance Act

 

2012 was passed.

 

14D    

Sections 14A to 14C: supplementary

 

(1)    

In sections 14A to 14C—

 

“the appropriate authority” means—

 

(a)    

the Secretary of State, in relation to England, and

 

(b)    

the Welsh Ministers, in relation to Wales;

 

“prescribed”, in relation to regulations made by the Welsh

 

Ministers, means prescribed by such regulations.

 

(2)    

A statutory instrument containing regulations made by the Secretary of

 

State under any of sections 14A to 14C may not be made unless a draft

 

of the instrument has been laid before and approved by a resolution of

 

each House of Parliament.

 

(3)    

A statutory instrument containing regulations made by the Welsh

 

Ministers under any of sections 14A to 14C may not be made unless a

 

draft of the instrument has been laid before and approved by a resolution

 

of the National Assembly for Wales.”

 

(3)    

In section 113(3) (application of negative procedure to orders and regulations

 

under the Act), after “except in the case of regulations under section” insert “14A,

 

14B, 14C or”.’.

 

Secretary Eric Pickles

 

42

 

Page  5,  line  2  [Clause  8],  at end insert—

 

‘(aa)    

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

 

in Wales, is to be reduced to the extent, if any, required by any

 

council tax reduction scheme made under regulations under

 

subsection (2B) which applies to that dwelling;’.

 

Secretary Eric Pickles

 

43

 

Page  5,  line  4  [Clause  8],  after ‘paragraph (a)’ insert ‘or (aa)’.


 
 

Notices of Amendments: 16 May 2012                     

16

 

Local Government Finance Bill, continued

 
 

Secretary Eric Pickles

 

44

 

Page  5,  line  12  [Clause  8],  at end insert—

 

‘(2A)    

Schedule 1A (which contains provisions about schemes under subsection

 

(2)) has effect.

 

(2B)    

The Welsh Ministers may by regulations—

 

(a)    

require a person or body specified in the regulations to make a

 

scheme specifying the reductions which are to apply to amounts

 

of council tax payable, in respect of dwellings to which the

 

scheme applies, by persons to whom the scheme applies,

 

(b)    

impose requirements on that person or body regarding the

 

matters which must be included in that scheme, and

 

(c)    

make other provision for and in connection with such schemes.

 

(2C)    

Schedule 1B (which contains further provisions about regulations under

 

subsection (2B) and about schemes under those regulations) has effect.’.

 

Secretary Eric Pickles

 

45

 

Page  5  [Clause  8],  leave out lines 18 and 19 and insert—

 

‘( )    

No regulations under subsection (2B) are to be made unless a draft of the

 

statutory instrument containing them has been laid before, and approved

 

by a resolution of, the National Assembly for Wales.’.

 

Secretary Eric Pickles

 

46

 

Page  5,  line  21  [Clause  8],  at end insert ‘or regulations under subsection (2B)’.

 

Secretary Eric Pickles

 

47

 

Page  5,  line  24  [Clause  8],  leave out ‘Schedule to be inserted as Schedule 1A’ and

 

insert ‘Schedules to be inserted as Schedules 1A and 1B’.

 

Secretary Eric Pickles

 

48

 

Page  5,  line  27  [Clause  8],  at end insert ‘under section 13A(2) of the LGFA 1992’.

 

Secretary Eric Pickles

 

49

 

Page  47,  line  32  [Schedule  4],  after ‘schemes’ insert ‘: England’.

 

Secretary Eric Pickles

 

50

 

Page  47,  line  35  [Schedule  4],  after second ‘scheme’ insert ‘under section 13A(2)’.


 
 

Notices of Amendments: 16 May 2012                     

17

 

Local Government Finance Bill, continued

 
 

Secretary Eric Pickles

 

51

 

Page  49,  line  7  [Schedule  4],  at end insert—

 

  ‘(10)  

Regulations under sub-paragraph (8) may in particular set out provision to be

 

included in a scheme that is equivalent to—

 

(a)    

provision made by a relevant enactment, or

 

(b)    

provision that is capable of being made under a relevant enactment,

 

            

with such modifications as the Secretary of State thinks fit.

 

    (11)  

Subject to compliance with regulations under sub-paragraph (8), a scheme may

 

make provision that is equivalent to—

 

(a)    

provision made by a relevant enactment, or

 

(b)    

provision that is capable of being made under a relevant enactment,

 

            

with such modifications as the authority thinks fit.

 

    (12)  

For the purposes of sub-paragraphs (10) and (11), each of the following

 

enactments as it had effect on the day on which the Local Government Finance

 

Act 2012 was passed is a “relevant enactment”—

 

(a)    

sections 131 to 133 of the Social Security Contributions and Benefits

 

Act 1992 (council tax benefit);

 

(b)    

sections 134 to 137 of that Act (general provisions about income-

 

related benefits) so far as applying in relation to council tax benefit;

 

(c)    

section 1 of the Social Security Administration Act 1992 (entitlement

 

to benefit dependent on claim) so far as applying in relation to council

 

tax benefit;

 

(d)    

section 6 of that Act (regulations about council tax benefit

 

administration).’.

 

Secretary Eric Pickles

 

52

 

Page  49,  line  16  [Schedule  4],  leave out ‘consultation under sub-paragraph (1)(a)

 

took place’ and insert ‘any step described in sub-paragraph (1) was taken’.

 

Secretary Eric Pickles

 

53

 

Page  49,  line  44  [Schedule  4],  at end insert ‘(or such other year as is specified in

 

section 8(4) of the Local Government Finance Act 2012)’.

 

Secretary Eric Pickles

 

54

 

Page  50,  line  2  [Schedule  4],  at end insert—

 

  ‘(3A)  

The default scheme may in particular make provision that is equivalent to—

 

(a)    

provision made by a relevant enactment, or

 

(b)    

provision that is capable of being made under a relevant enactment,

 

            

with such modifications as the Secretary of State thinks fit.

 

    (3B)  

For the purposes of sub-paragraph (3A), each of the following enactments as

 

it had effect on the day on which the Local Government Finance Act 2012 was

 

passed is a “relevant enactment”—

 

(a)    

sections 131 to 133 of the Social Security Contributions and Benefits

 

Act 1992 (council tax benefit);

 

(b)    

sections 134 to 137 of that Act (general provisions about income-

 

related benefits) so far as applying in relation to council tax benefit;


 
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