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Local Government Finance BillPage 60

(b) prescribe classes of person which must or must not be
included in a scheme;

(c) prescribe reductions, including minimum or maximum
reductions, which must be applicable to persons in
5prescribed classes;

(d) prescribe requirements which must be met by the
procedure mentioned in sub-paragraph (5).

(10) Regulations under sub-paragraph (8) may in particular set out
provision to be included in a scheme that is equivalent to—

(a) 10provision 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
15scheme 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) 20For 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
25Benefits 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
30(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).

Preparation of a scheme

3 (1) 35Before making a scheme, the authority must (in the following
order)—

(a) consult any major precepting authority which has power
to issue a precept to it,

(b) publish a draft scheme in such manner as it thinks fit, and

(c) 40consult such other persons as it considers are likely to have
an interest in the operation of the scheme.

(2) The fact that this paragraph was not in force when any step
described in sub-paragraph (1) was taken is to be disregarded in
determining whether there has been compliance with that sub-
45paragraph.

(3) Having made a scheme, the authority must publish it in such
manner as the authority thinks fit.

Local Government Finance BillPage 61

(4) The Secretary of State may make regulations about the procedure
for preparing a scheme.

(5) Regulations under sub-paragraph (4) may in particular—

(a) require the authority to produce documents of a particular
5description in connection with the preparation of a
scheme;

(b) include requirements as to the form and content of
documents produced in connection with the preparation
of a scheme;

(c) 10include requirements (in addition to sub-paragraphs (1)(b)
and (3)) about the manner in which such documents must
be published;

(d) require the authority to make copies of such documents
available for inspection by members of the public, or to
15supply copies of such documents to them;

(e) include provision about the making of reasonable charges
for the supply of copies of such documents to members of
the public.

Default scheme

4 (1) 20The Secretary of State must by regulations prescribe a scheme
(“the default scheme”) for the purposes of this paragraph.

(2) The first financial year to which the default scheme relates must be
the year beginning with 1 April 2013 (or such other year as is
specified in section 9(4) of the Local Government Finance Act
252012).

(3) The default scheme must comply with the requirements of—

(a) paragraph 2(1) to (7), and

(b) any regulations under paragraph 2(8).

(4) The default scheme may in particular make provision that is
30equivalent 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.

(5) 35For the purposes of sub-paragraph (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) sections 131 to 133 of the Social Security Contributions and
40Benefits 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
45(entitlement to benefit dependent on claim) so far as
applying in relation to council tax benefit;

Local Government Finance BillPage 62

(d) section 6 of that Act (regulations about council tax benefit
administration).

(6) The default scheme is to take effect, in respect of dwellings
situated in the area of a billing authority, if the authority fails to
5make a scheme on or before 31 January 2013 (or such other date as
is specified in section 9(4) of the Local Government Finance Act
2012).

(7) If the default scheme takes effect in the area of a billing authority,
this Part applies to the default scheme as if it had been made by the
10authority.

Revisions to and replacement of scheme

5 (1) For each financial year, each billing authority must consider
whether to revise its scheme or to replace it with another scheme.

(2) The authority must make any revision to its scheme, or any
15replacement scheme, no later than 31 January in the financial year
preceding that for which the revision or replacement scheme is to
have effect.

(3) The Secretary of State may by order amend sub-paragraph (2) by
substituting a different date.

(4) 20If any revision to a scheme, or any replacement scheme, has the
effect of reducing or removing a reduction to which any class of
persons is entitled, the revision or replacement must include such
transitional provision relating to that reduction or removal as the
authority thinks fit.

(5) 25Paragraph 3 applies to an authority when revising a scheme as it
applies to an authority when making a scheme.

(6) References in this Part to a scheme include a replacement scheme.

Arrangements to deal with shortfall in council tax receipts

6 (1) In this paragraph “scheme authority” means, in relation to a
30scheme and a year—

(a) the billing authority which made the scheme, and

(b) any major precepting authority with power to issue a
precept to that billing authority in relation to that year.

(2) Two or more scheme authorities may make arrangements which
35are to have effect if, as a result of the operation of the scheme—

(a) there is a deficit in the billing authority’s collection fund
for that year, or

(b) the billing authority estimates that there will be such a
deficit.

(3) 40Arrangements under this paragraph may include—

(a) the making of payments by one scheme authority to
another scheme authority;

Local Government Finance BillPage 63

(b) the variation of any payment or instalment of a payment
which is required to be made under regulations under
section 99 of the 1988 Act (regulations about funds).

Provision of information to the Secretary of State

7 (1) 5The Secretary of State may serve on a billing authority in England
a notice requiring it to supply to the Secretary of State such
information as is specified in the notice and required by the
Secretary of State for the purpose of exercising, or of deciding
whether to exercise, any function relating to schemes.

(2) 10The authority must supply the information required if it is in its
possession or control, and must do so in such form and manner
and at such time as the Secretary of State specifies in the notice.

(3) If an authority fails to comply with sub-paragraph (2), the
Secretary of State may exercise the function on the basis of such
15assumptions and estimates as the Secretary of State thinks fit.

(4) In exercising, or deciding whether to exercise, any function
relating to schemes, the Secretary of State may also take into
account any other available information, whatever its source and
whether or not obtained under a provision contained in or made
20under this or any other Act.

Guidance

8 In exercising any function relating to schemes, a billing authority
must have regard to any guidance issued by the Secretary of State.

Transitional provision

9 (1) 25The Secretary of State may by regulations make such transitional
provision regarding the commencement of schemes as the
Secretary of State thinks fit.

(2) Such provision may include, in particular, provision for and in
connection with treating a person who is or was in receipt of
30council tax benefit, or who makes or has made a claim for that
benefit, as having made an application for a reduction under a
scheme.

Section 13A

Schedule 1A Council tax reduction schemes: Wales

Interpretation

1 35In this Schedule—

(a) “the regulations” means regulations under section 13A(4);

(b) “scheme” means council tax reduction scheme under the
regulations;

(c) “specified” means specified in the regulations;

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(d) “specified authority” means a person or body required by
the regulations to make a scheme (and, in relation to a
particular scheme, means the authority which made the
scheme or is under a duty to make it).

5Application of schemes

2 (1) The regulations may—

(a) prescribe, for each scheme that is to be made, the dwellings
to which that scheme is to apply;

(b) require each scheme to state the dwellings to which it is to
10apply.

(2) The regulations may prescribe—

(a) the date by which each scheme is to be made, and

(b) the first financial year to which it must relate.

Persons entitled to reductions

3 (1) 15The regulations may prescribe—

(a) classes of person who are to be entitled to a reduction
under schemes;

(b) classes of person who must not be entitled to a reduction
under schemes.

(2) 20The regulations may—

(a) allow specified authorities to determine (subject to
regulations under sub-paragraph (1)) classes of person
who are to be entitled to a reduction under schemes, or

(b) provide that specified authorities may not determine such
25classes.

(3) The regulations may require each scheme to state the classes of
person (prescribed under sub-paragraph (1)(a) or determined
under sub-paragraph (2)(a)) who are to be entitled to a reduction
under the scheme.

(4) 30Any class of person prescribed under sub-paragraph (1)(a) may be
determined by reference to, in particular, the matters listed in sub-
paragraph (7).

(5) The regulations may require any class of person determined under
sub-paragraph (2)(a) to be determined by reference to specified
35matters (which may include those listed in sub-paragraph (7)).

(6) If the regulations do not require a class of person to be determined
as mentioned in sub-paragraph (5), the specified authority may
determine that class by reference to, in particular, the matters
listed in sub-paragraph (7).

(7) 40Those matters are—

(a) whether the Welsh Ministers consider, or the specified
authority considers, any person to be in financial need;

(b) the income of any person liable to pay council tax in
respect of any dwelling to which a scheme is to apply;

(c) 45the capital of any such person;

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(d) whether any such person is in receipt of any specified
benefit;

(e) the income and capital of any other person who is a
resident of the dwelling, or whether any such person is in
5receipt of any specified benefit;

(f) the number of dependants of any person within paragraph
(b) or (e);

(g) whether the person has made an application for the
reduction.

10Reductions

4 (1) The regulations may prescribe reductions, including minimum
and maximum reductions, to which persons in each class (whether
prescribed under paragraph 3(1)(a) or determined under
paragraph 3(2)(a)) are to be entitled under schemes.

(2) 15The regulations may—

(a) allow specified authorities to determine (subject to
regulations under sub-paragraph (1)) reductions to which
persons in each class set out in the scheme are to be
entitled, or

(b) 20provide that specified authorities may not determine such
reductions.

(3) The regulations may require each scheme to set out the reductions
(whether prescribed under sub-paragraph (1) or determined
under sub-paragraph (2)(a)) to which persons in each class set out
25in the scheme are to be entitled.

(4) Different reductions may be set out for different classes.

(5) A reduction under a scheme may be—

(a) a discount calculated as a percentage of the amount which
would be payable apart from the scheme,

(b) 30a discount of an amount set out in the scheme or to be
calculated in accordance with the scheme,

(c) expressed as an amount of council tax to be paid (lower
than the amount which would be payable apart from the
scheme) which is set out in the scheme or is to be calculated
35in accordance with it, or

(d) the whole amount of council tax (so that the amount
payable is nil).

Other matters

5 (1) The regulations may require each scheme to state—

(a) 40the procedure by which a person may apply for a
reduction under the scheme;

(b) the procedure by which a person can make an appeal
under section 16 against any decision which affects the
person’s entitlement to a reduction under the scheme or
45the amount of any reduction to which the person is
entitled;

Local Government Finance BillPage 66

(c) the procedure by which a person can apply to the relevant
billing authority for a reduction under section 13A(1)(c).

(2) In sub-paragraph (1)(c), the relevant billing authority for any
dwelling to which the scheme applies is the billing authority in
5whose area the dwelling is situated.

(3) The regulations may prescribe requirements which must be met
by the procedure mentioned in sub-paragraph (1)(a) or (b).

6 (1) The regulations may—

(a) require other matters to be included in schemes;

(b) 10allow schemes to make provision that is equivalent to
provision made by a relevant enactment, or provision that
is capable of being made under a relevant enactment, with
such modifications as specified authorities think fit;

(c) prescribe the procedure which a specified authority must
15follow when making a scheme (including requirements
regarding consultation and other steps to be taken before
and after making the scheme);

(d) require or allow functions conferred by the regulations to
be exercised by specified authorities jointly with other
20authorities;

(e) prescribe a default scheme which is to take effect, if a
specified authority fails to make a scheme in accordance
with the regulations, in respect of dwellings to which that
scheme would have applied;

(f) 25impose requirements on specified authorities relating to
the review, revision or replacement of schemes;

(g) enable specified authorities to make reasonable charges for
the supply of copies of documents relating to schemes;

(h) require specified authorities to provide to the Welsh
30Ministers information about schemes.

(2) In particular, the regulations may under sub-paragraph (1)(a) set
out provision to be included in schemes, and a default scheme
prescribed under sub-paragraph (1)(d) may make provision, that
is equivalent to—

(a) 35provision made by a relevant enactment, or

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

with such modifications as the Welsh Ministers think fit.

(3) For the purposes of sub-paragraphs (1)(b) and (2), each of the
40following 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) 45sections 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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(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
5administration).

Transitional provision

7 (1) The regulations may make such transitional provision regarding
the commencement of schemes as the Welsh Ministers think fit.

(2) Such provision may include, in particular, provision for and in
10connection with treating a person who is or was in receipt of
council tax benefit, or who makes or has made a claim for that
benefit, as having made an application for a reduction under a
scheme.

Guidance

8 15In exercising any function relating to schemes, a specified
authority must have regard to any guidance issued by the Welsh
Ministers.

Part 2 Other amendments

20LGFA 1988

2 In Part 1 of Schedule 11 to the LGFA 1988 (the Valuation Tribunal for
England), after paragraph A18 insert—

Power for member of First-tier Tribunal to act as member of the Tribunal

A18A (1) A member of the First-tier Tribunal (an “FTT member”) may act as
25a member of the Valuation Tribunal for England.

(2) An FTT member may only act as a member of the Tribunal—

(a) at the request of the President and with the approval of the
Senior President of Tribunals,

(b) in relation to an appeal that relates, in whole or in part, to
30a council tax reduction scheme made or having effect as if
made by a billing authority in England, and

(c) if the FTT member is not disqualified from being, or acting
as, a member of the Tribunal.

(3) A request under sub-paragraph (2)(a)—

(a) 35may relate to a particular appeal or to appeals of a
particular kind,

(b) may be made only if the President thinks that FTT
members are likely to have particular expertise that is
relevant to the determination of the appeal, or to appeals
40of the kind, to which it relates.

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(4) An approval under sub-paragraph (2)(a) may relate to a particular
appeal or to appeals of a particular kind.

(5) The President may withdraw a request at any time; and an FTT
member acting as a Tribunal member in response to a request
5must cease to do so if it is withdrawn.

(6) References in this Schedule and in regulations made under
paragraph A19 to a member of the Tribunal include an FTT
member acting as a member of the Tribunal.

(7) But sub-paragraph (6) does not apply—

(a) 10to paragraph A7, A8, A9, A10 or A12 (which make
provision about the appointment and removal of, numbers
of, and payments to, members of the Tribunal);

(b) to regulations under paragraph A19, if and to extent that
the regulations provide that it does not apply.

(8) 15The Valuation Tribunal Service may make payments to the Lord
Chancellor in respect of the expenditure incurred by the Lord
Chancellor in paying remuneration, allowances or expenses to an
FTT member whilst acting as a member of the Tribunal.

(9) In this paragraph—

(a) 20references to an appeal include a review by the Tribunal of
a decision made by it on an appeal,

(b) “council tax reduction scheme” has the same meaning as in
Part 1 of the Local Government Finance Act 1992 (see
section 13A(9) of that Act).

25LGFA 1992

3 The LGFA 1992 is amended as follows.

4 In section 10(1) (basic amount payable), for “13” substitute “13A”.

5 (1) Section 66 (matters to be questioned only by judicial review) is amended as
follows.

(2) 30After subsection (2)(b) insert—

(ba) a council tax reduction scheme, or any revision of such a
scheme;.

(3) In subsection (3), for “(b) to (e)” substitute “(b) or (c) to (e)”.

6 In section 67 (functions to be discharged only by authority), after subsection
35(2)(a) insert—

(aa) making or revising a council tax reduction scheme under
section 13A(2);.

7 (1) In Schedule 2 (administration), paragraph 21 (application of Schedule to
cases where section 13A applies) is amended as follows.

(2) 40For sub-paragraph (1) substitute—

(1) This paragraph applies where—

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(a) a billing authority in England or a specified authority
(within the meaning of Schedule 1B) in Wales makes a
council tax reduction scheme, or

(b) a billing authority exercises the power under section
513A(1)(c) by determining a class of case in which liability
is to be reduced.

(3) In sub-paragraphs (2) and (3), after “Where” insert “the scheme or”.

Local Government Act 2003 (c. 26)2003 (c. 26)

8 The Local Government Act 2003 is amended as follows.

9 10Omit section 76 (insertion of section 13A of the LGFA 1992).

10 In section 105(2)(aa) (functions of the Valuation Tribunal Service: payments
to members of the Valuation Tribunal for England), after “A14” insert “or
A18A(8)”.

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