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Welfare Reform BillPage 90

(8) Where a person is convicted of more than one benefit offence in the
same set of proceedings, there is to be only one disqualifying event in
respect of that set of proceedings for the purposes of this section and—

(a) subsection (1)(b) is satisfied if any of the convictions take place
5in the five year period there;

(b) the event is taken into account for the purposes of subsection
(1)(d) if any of the convictions have been taken into account as
mentioned there;

(c) in the case of the earlier disqualifying event mentioned in
10subsection (6)(a), the reference there to the date on which the
earlier disqualifying event occurred is a reference to the date on
which any of the convictions take place;

(d) in the case of the previous disqualifying event mentioned in
subsection (6)(a), that provision is satisfied if any of the
15convictions take place in the five year period mentioned there.

(9) The Treasury may by order amend subsection (6) to substitute different
periods for those for the time being specified there.

(10) An order under subsection (9) may provide for different periods to
apply according to the type of earlier disqualifying event or events
20occurring in any case.

(11) This section has effect subject to section 36D.

36D Section 36C: supplementary

(1) Where—

(a) the conviction of any person of any offence is taken into account
25for the purposes of the application of section 36C in relation to
that person, and

(b) that conviction is subsequently quashed,

all such payments and other adjustments shall be made as would be
necessary if no restriction had been imposed by or under section 36C
30that could not have been imposed if the conviction had not taken place.

(2) Subsection (3) applies where, after the agreement of any person (“P”) to
pay a penalty under the appropriate penalty provision is taken into
account for the purposes of the application of section 36C in relation to
that person—

(a) 35P’s agreement to pay the penalty is withdrawn under
subsection (5) of the appropriate penalty provision,

(b) it is decided on an appeal or in accordance with regulations
under the Social Security Act 1998 or the Social Security
(Northern Ireland) Order 1998 (S.I. 1998/1506 (N.I. 10)S.I. 1998/1506 (N.I. 10)) that any
40overpayment made to which the agreement relates is not
recoverable or due, or

(c) the amount of any over payment to which the penalty relates is
revised on an appeal or in accordance with regulations under
the Social Security Act 1998 or the Social Security (Northern
45Ireland) Order 1998 and there is no new agreement by P to pay
a penalty under the appropriate penalty provision in relation to
the revised overpayment.

(3) In those circumstances, all such payments and other adjustments shall
be made as would be necessary if no restriction had been imposed by

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or under section 36C that could not have been imposed if P had not
agreed to pay the penalty.

(4) For the purposes of section 36C—

(a) the date of a person’s conviction in any proceedings of a benefit
5offence shall be taken to be the date on which the person was
found guilty of that offence in those proceedings (whenever the
person was sentenced) or in the case mentioned in paragraph
(b)(ii) the date of the order for absolute discharge, and

(b) references to a conviction include references to—

(i) 10a conviction in relation to which the court makes an
order for absolute or conditional discharge,

(ii) an order for absolute discharge made by a court of
summary jurisdiction in Scotland under section 246(3)
of the Criminal Procedure (Scotland) Act 1995 without
15proceeding to a conviction, and

(iii) a conviction in Northern Ireland.

(5) In section 36C references to any previous application of that section—

(a) include references to any previous application of a provision
having an effect in Northern Ireland corresponding to provision
20made by that section, but

(b) do not include references to any previous application of that
section the effect of which was to impose a restriction for a
period comprised in the same disqualification period.

(3) In section 38 (appeals), in subsection (1)—

(a) 25the “and” immediately following paragraph (c) is repealed;

(b) after that paragraph there is inserted—

(ca) a decision under section 36A or 36C that working tax
credit is not payable (or is not payable for a particular
period), and.

(4) 30In section 66 (parliamentary etc control of instruments)—

(a) in subsection (1)—

(i) after “no” there is inserted “order or”;

(ii) for “them” there is substituted “the order or regulations”;

(b) in subsection (2) before paragraph (a) there is inserted—

(za) 35an order made by the Treasury under section 36A(8) or
36C(9),

(zb) regulations made under section 36A(5) or 36C(4),;

(c) in subsection (3)(a) at the beginning there is inserted “an order or”.

(5) In section 67 (interpretation), at the appropriate place there is inserted—

122 Cautions

(1) In section 6B of the Social Security Fraud Act 2001 (loss of benefit in case of
45conviction, penalty or caution for benefit offence)—

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(a) in the heading, for “penalty or caution” there is substituted “or
penalty”;

(b) in subsection (1), after paragraph (a) there is inserted “or”;

(c) subsection (1)(c) (cautions) is repealed;

(d) 5in subsection (13), in the definition of “disqualifying event”, after
“(1)(a)” there is inserted “or”.

(2) In section 36A of the Tax Credits Act 2002 (loss of tax working tax credit in case
of conviction, penalty or caution for benefit offence) subsection (1)(c) (cautions)
is repealed.

10Administration of tax credits

123 Tax credit fraud: investigation

In section 109A of the Social Security Administration Act 1992 (authorisations
for investigators), at the end there is inserted—

(9) This section and sections 109B to 109C below apply as if—

(a) 15the Tax Credits Act 2002 were relevant social security
legislation, and

(b) accordingly, child tax credit and working tax credit were
relevant social security benefits for the purposes of the
definition of “benefit offence”.

124 20Information-sharing for prevention etc of tax credit fraud

(1) Section 122B of the Social Security Administration Act 1992 (supply of
government information for fraud prevention etc) is amended as follows.

(2) In subsection (2)(a), after “social security” there is inserted “or tax credits”.

(3) In subsection (3)—

(a) 25in paragraph (b), after “1995” there is inserted “, the Tax Credits Act
2002”,

(b) in that paragraph, the final “or” is repealed, and

(c) after paragraph (c) there is inserted “or

(d) it is supplied under section 128 of the Welfare Reform
30Act 2012.

125 Tax credit fraud: prosecution and penalties

In section 35 of the Tax Credits Act 2002 (offence of fraud), for subsection (2)
there is substituted—

(2) Where a person is alleged to have committed an offence under this
35section in relation to payments of a tax credit not exceeding £20,000, the
offence is triable summarily only.

(3) A person who commits an offence under this section is liable on
summary conviction pursuant to subsection (2) to imprisonment for a
term not exceeding the applicable term, or a fine not exceeding level 5
40on the standard scale, or both.

(4) In subsection (3) the applicable term is—

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(a) for conviction in England and Wales, 51 weeks;

(b) for conviction in Scotland or Northern Ireland, 6 months.

(5) Where a person is alleged to have committed an offence under this
section in any other case, the offence is triable either on indictment or
5summarily.

(6) A person who commits an offence under this section is liable—

(a) on summary conviction pursuant to subsection (5), to
imprisonment for a term not exceeding the applicable term, or
a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum, or both;

(b) 10on conviction on indictment pursuant to subsection (5) to
imprisonment for a term not exceeding 7 years, or a fine, or
both.

(7) In subsection (6)(a) the applicable term is—

(a) for conviction in England and Wales or Scotland, 12 months;

(b) 15for conviction in Northern Ireland, 6 months.

(8) In relation to an offence under this section committed in England and
Wales before the commencement of section 281(5) of the Criminal
Justice Act 2003, the reference in subsection (4)(a) to 51 weeks is to be
read as a reference to 6 months.

(9) 20In relation to an offence under this section committed in England and
Wales before the commencement of section 154(1) of the Criminal
Justice Act 2003, the reference in subsection (7)(a) to 12 months is to be
read as a reference to 6 months.

(10) In England and Wales—

(a) 25subsection (1) of section 116 of the Social Security
Administration Act 1992 (legal proceedings) applies in relation
to proceedings for an offence under this section;

(b) subsections (2)(a) and (3)(a) of that section apply in relation to
proceedings for an offence under this section which is triable
30summarily only pursuant to subsection (2) above.

(11) In Scotland, subsection (7)(a) and (b) of section 116 of the Social Security
Administration Act 1992 (legal proceedings) apply in relation to
proceedings for an offence under this section which is triable
summarily only pursuant to subsection (2) above.

(12) 35In Northern Ireland—

(a) subsection (1) of section 110 of the Social Security
Administration (Northern Ireland) Act 1992 (legal proceedings)
applies in relation to proceedings for an offence under this
section;

(b) 40subsections (2)(a) and (3)(a) of that section apply in relation to
proceedings for an offence under this section which is triable
summarily only pursuant to subsection (2) above.

126 Unauthorised disclosure of information relating to tax credit offences

In Schedule 4 to the Social Security Administration Act 1992 (persons
45employed in social security administration or adjudication), in paragraph 1 of

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Part 2, after “security,” there is inserted “to the investigation or prosecution of
offences relating to tax credits,”.

127 Tax credits: transfer of functions etc

(1) Her Majesty may by Order in Council—

(a) 5transfer to the Secretary of State any tax credit function of the Treasury
or the Commissioners;

(b) direct that any tax credit function of the Treasury or the Commissioners
is to be exercisable concurrently with the Secretary of State or is to cease
to be so exercisable.

(2) 10Provision within subsection (1) may be limited so as to apply only in relation
to cases within a specified description.

(3) Her Majesty may by Order in Council, as Her Majesty considers appropriate—

(a) make provision in connection with a transfer or direction under
subsection (1);

(b) 15make other provision within one or more of the following sub-
paragraphs—

(i) provision applying (with or without modifications) in relation
to tax credits any provision of primary or secondary legislation
relating to social security;

(ii) 20provision combining or linking any aspect of the payment and
management of tax credits with any aspect of the
administration of social security;

(iii) provision about the use or supply of information held for
purposes connected with tax credits, including (in particular)
25provision authorising or requiring its use or supply for other
purposes;

(iv) in relation to information held for purposes not connected with
tax credits, provision authorising or requiring its use or supply
for purposes connected with tax credits.

(4) 30An Order may make provision under subsection (3)(b) only if—

(a) the Order also makes provision under subsection (1), or

(b) a previous Order has made provision under subsection (1).

(5) Provision within subsection (3)

(a) may confer functions on, or remove functions from, the Secretary of
35State, the Treasury, the Commissioners, a Northern Ireland department
or any other person;

(b) may (in particular) authorise the Secretary of State and the
Commissioners to enter into arrangements from time to time under
which the Commissioners are to provide services to the Secretary of
40State in connection with tax credits.

(6) Provision within subsection (3)

(a) may expand the scope of the conduct which constitutes an offence
under any primary or secondary legislation, but may not increase the
scope of any punishment for which a person may be liable on
45conviction for the offence;

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(b) may expand the scope of the conduct in respect of which a civil penalty
may be imposed under any primary or secondary legislation, but may
not increase the maximum amount of the penalty.

(7) An Order under this section may include such consequential, supplementary,
5incidental or transitional provision as Her Majesty considers appropriate
including (for example)—

(a) provision for transferring or apportioning property, rights or liabilities
(whether or not they would otherwise be capable of being transferred
or apportioned);

(b) 10provision for substituting any person for any other person in any
instrument or other document or in any legal proceedings;

(c) provision with respect to the application in relation to the Crown of
provision made by the Order.

(8) A certificate issued by the Secretary of State that any property, rights or
15liabilities set out in the certificate have been transferred or apportioned by an
Order under this section as set out in the certificate is conclusive evidence of
the matters so set out.

(9) An Order under this section may amend, repeal or revoke any primary or
secondary legislation.

(10) 20A statutory instrument containing an Order under this section is subject to
annulment in pursuance of a resolution of either House of Parliament.

(11) In this section references to tax credits are to child tax credit or working tax
credit or both.

(12) In this section references to primary or secondary legislation are to such
25legislation whenever passed or made.

(13) In this section—

(14) 35In section 5A(3) of the Ministers of the Crown Act 1975 for “section 5(1)” there
is substituted “section 5(1)(a) or (b)”.

Information-sharing: Secretary of State and HMRC

128 Information-sharing between Secretary of State and HMRC

(1) This subsection applies to information which is held for the purposes of any
40HMRC functions—

(a) by the Commissioners for Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs, or

(b) by a person providing services to them.

(2) Information to which subsection (1) applies may be supplied—

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(a) to the Secretary of State, or to a person providing services to the
Secretary of State, or

(b) to a Northern Ireland Department, or to a person providing services to
a Northern Ireland Department,

5for use for the purposes of departmental functions.

(3) This subsection applies to information which is held for the purposes of any
departmental functions—

(a) by the Secretary of State, or by a person providing services to the
Secretary of State, or

(b) 10by a Northern Ireland Department, or by a person providing services to
a Northern Ireland Department.

(4) Information to which subsection (3) applies may be supplied—

(a) to the Commissioners for Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs, or

(b) to a person providing services to them,

15for use for the purposes of HMRC functions.

(5) Information supplied under this section must not be supplied by the recipient
of the information to any other person or body without—

(a) the authority of the Commissioners for Her Majesty’s Revenue and
Customs, in the case of information supplied under subsection (2);

(b) 20the authority of the Secretary of State, in the case of information held as
mentioned in subsection (3)(a) and supplied under subsection (4);

(c) the authority of the relevant Northern Ireland Department, in the case
of information held as mentioned in subsection (3)(b) and supplied
under subsection (4).

(6) 25Where information supplied under this section has been used for the purposes
for which it was supplied, it is lawful for it to be used for any purposes for
which information held for those purposes could be used.

(7) In this section—

(8) For the purposes of this section any reference to functions relating to social
security includes a reference to functions relating to—

(a) 45statutory payments as defined in section 4C(11) of the Social Security
Contributions and Benefits Act 1992;

(b) maternity allowance under section 35 of that Act;

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(c) statutory payments as defined in section 4C(11) of the Social Security
Contributions and Benefits (Northern Ireland) Act 1992;

(d) maternity allowance under section 35 of that Act.

(9) This section does not limit the circumstances in which information may be
5supplied apart from this section.

(10) In section 3 of the Social Security Act 1998 (use of information), in subsection
(1A) after paragraph (d) there is inserted—

(e) the investigation or prosecution of offences relating to tax
credits.

10Information-sharing: Secretary of State and DPP

129 Information-sharing between Secretary of State and DPP

(1) The Secretary of State may supply social security information to a person
specified in subsection (2) for use for a purpose specified in subsection (3).

(2) The persons referred to in subsection (1) are—

(a) 15the Director of Public Prosecutions;

(b) a person appointed under section 5 of the Prosecution of Offences Act
1985 (conduct of prosecutions on behalf of Crown Prosecution Service).

(3) The purposes referred to in subsection (1) are—

(a) the institution or conduct of criminal proceedings which relate wholly
20or partly to social security matters;

(b) the giving of advice to any person on any matter relating to criminal
proceedings, or criminal offences, which relate wholly or partly to
social security matters;

(c) the exercise in relation to social security matters of functions assigned
25to the Director of Public Prosecutions under section 3(2)(g) of the
Prosecution of Offences Act 1985;

(d) the exercise of functions of the Director of Public Prosecutions under
Part 2, 5 or 8 of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002.

(4) The reference in subsection (1) to the Secretary of State includes a person
30providing services to the Secretary of State.

(5) This section does not limit the circumstances in which information may be
supplied apart from this section.

(6) In this section—

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130 Unlawful disclosure of information supplied under section 129

(1) A person to whom information is supplied under section 129, or an employee
or former employee of such a person, may not disclose the information if it
relates to a particular person.

(2) 5Subsection (1) does not apply to—

(a) a disclosure of a summary or collection of information so framed as not
to enable information relating to any particular person to be
ascertained from it;

(b) a disclosure made for the purposes of a function of the Director of
10Public Prosecutions, where the disclosure does not contravene any
restriction imposed by the Director;

(c) a disclosure made to the Secretary of State, or a person providing
services to the Secretary of State, for the purposes of the exercise of
functions relating to social security matters (within the meaning of
15section 129);

(d) a disclosure made for the purposes of a criminal investigation or
criminal proceedings (whether or not in the United Kingdom);

(e) a disclosure made for the purposes of—

(i) the exercise of any functions of the prosecutor under Parts 2, 3
20and 4 of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002;

(ii) the exercise of any functions of the Serious Organised Crime
Agency under that Act;

(iii) the exercise of any functions of the Director of the Serious Fraud
Office, the Director of Public Prosecutions for Northern Ireland
25or the Scottish Ministers under, or in relation to, Part 5 or 8 of
that Act;

(iv) investigations or proceedings outside the United Kingdom
which have led or may lead to the making of an external order
within the meaning of section 447 of that Act;

(f) 30a disclosure made to a person exercising public functions of law
enforcement for the purposes of the exercise of those functions in civil
proceedings;

(g) a disclosure which in the opinion of the Director of Public Prosecutions
is desirable for the purpose of safeguarding national security;

(h) 35a disclosure made in pursuance of an order of a court;

(i) a disclosure made with the consent of each person to whom the
information relates.

(3) Subsection (1) does not apply in relation to information relating to schemes and
arrangements under section 2 of the Employment and Training Act 1973.

(4) 40Subsection (1) is subject to any other Act or to an instrument made under an
Act.

(5) A person who contravenes subsection (1) commits an offence.

(6) It is a defence for a person charged with an offence under this section of
disclosing information to prove that he or she reasonably believed—

(a) 45that the disclosure was lawful, or

(b) that the information had already and lawfully been made available to
the public.

(7) A person guilty of an offence under this section is liable—

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(a) on conviction on indictment, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding
two years or a fine or both, or

(b) on summary conviction, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding
twelve months or a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum or both.

(8) 5A prosecution for an offence under this section may be instituted only with the
consent of the Director of Public Prosecutions.

(9) In relation to an offence under this section committed before the
commencement of section 154(1) of the Criminal Justice Act 2003 (increase in
maximum term that may be imposed on summary conviction of offence triable
10either way), the reference in subsection (7)(b) to twelve months shall have
effect as if it were a reference to six months.

Information-sharing involving local authorities etc

131 Information-sharing in relation to provision of overnight care etc

(1) This section applies where a local authority holds information falling within
15subsection (2) in relation to a person who is receiving or is likely to receive a
relevant service.

(2) The information referred to in subsection (1) is—

(a) information as to the fact of the provision or likely provision of the
service;

(b) 20information about when the provision of the service begins or ends or
is likely to do so;

(c) other prescribed information relating to the service provided and how
it is funded (including the extent to which it is funded by the recipient).

(3) In this section “relevant service” means—

(a) 25a service consisting of overnight care in the individual’s own home
provided by or on behalf of a local authority;

(b) a residential care service provided by or on behalf of a local authority;

(c) a service consisting of overnight hospital accommodation.

(4) In subsection (3)(c) “hospital accommodation” means—

(a) 30in relation to England, hospital accommodation within the meaning of
the National Health Service Act 2006 which is provided by a Primary
Care Trust, an NHS trust or an NHS foundation trust;

(b) in relation to Wales, hospital accommodation within the meaning of the
National Health Service (Wales) Act 2006 which is provided by a Local
35Health Board or an NHS trust;

(c) in relation to Scotland, hospital accommodation within the meaning of
the National Health Service (Scotland) Act 1978 which is provided by a
Health Board or Special Health Board but excluding accommodation in
an institution for providing dental treatment maintained in connection
40with a dental school.

(5) The local authority may—

(a) itself use the information for purposes relating to the payment of a
relevant benefit to the individual, or

(b) supply the information to a person specified in subsection (6) for those
45purposes.

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