Child Support, Pensions and Social Security Bill - continued        House of Commons
SCHEDULE 7, HOUSING BENEFIT AND COUNCIL TAX BENEFIT: REVISIONS AND APPEALS - continued

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Suspension for failure to furnish information etc
     14. - (1) The powers conferred by this paragraph are exercisable in relation to persons who fail to comply with information requirements.
 
      (2) Regulations may provide for-
 
 
    (a) suspending, in whole or in part, any payments of housing benefit or council tax benefit;
 
    (b) suspending, in whole or in part, any reduction (by way of council tax benefit) in the amount that a person is or will become liable to pay in respect of council tax;
 
    (c) the subsequent making, or restoring, in prescribed circumstances of any or all of the payments, or any right, so suspended.
      (3) In this paragraph and paragraph 15 "information requirement" means-
 
 
    (a) in the case of housing benefit, a requirement in pursuance of regulations made by virtue of section 5(1)(hh) of the Administration Act to furnish information or evidence needed for a determination whether a decision on an award of that benefit should be revised under paragraph 3 or superseded under paragraph 4 of this Schedule; and
 
    (b) in the case of council tax benefit, a requirement made in pursuance of regulations under section 6(1)(hh) of the Administration Act to furnish information or evidence needed for a determination whether a decision on an award of that benefit should be so revised or superseded.
 
Termination in cases of a failure to furnish information
     15. - (1) Regulations may provide that, except in prescribed cases or circumstances-
 
 
    (a) a person whose benefit has been suspended in accordance with regulations under paragraph 13 and who subsequently fails to comply with an information requirement, or
 
    (b) a person whose benefit has been suspended in accordance with regulations under paragraph 14 for failing to comply with such a requirement,
  shall cease to be entitled to the benefit from a date not earlier than the date on which payments were suspended.
 
 
Decisions involving issues that arise on appeal in other cases
     16. - (1) This paragraph applies where-
 
 
    (a) a relevant decision, or a decision under paragraph 3 about the revision of an earlier decision, falls to be made in any particular case; and
 
    (b) an appeal is pending against the decision given in another case by a Commissioner or a court (whether or not the two cases concern the same benefit and whether or not the cases relate to decisions made, or falling to be made, by the same relevant authority).
      (2) A relevant authority need not make the decision while the appeal is pending if they consider it possible that the result of the appeal will be such that, if it were already determined, there would be no entitlement to benefit.
 
      (3) If a relevant authority consider it possible that the result of the appeal will be such that, if it were already determined, it would affect the decision in some other way-
 
 
    (a) they need not, except in such cases or circumstances as may be prescribed, make the decision while the appeal is pending;
 
    (b) they may, in such cases or circumstances as may be prescribed, make the decision on such basis as may be prescribed.
      (4) Where-
 
 
    (a) a relevant authority acts in accordance with sub-paragraph (3)(b), and
 
    (b) following the making of the determination it is appropriate for their decision to be revised,
  they shall then revise their decision (under paragraph 3) in accordance with that determination.
 
      (5) For the purposes of this paragraph, an appeal against a decision is pending if-
 
 
    (a) an appeal against the decision has been brought but not determined;
 
    (b) an application for leave to appeal against the decision has been made but not determined; or
 
    (c) the time within which-
 
      (i) an application for leave to appeal may be made, or
 
      (ii) an appeal against the decision may be brought,
 
    has not expired and the circumstances are such as may be prescribed.
      (6) In paragraphs (a), (b) and (c) of sub-paragraph (5), any reference to an appeal against a decision, or to an application for leave to appeal against a decision, includes a reference to-
 
 
    (a) an application for judicial review of the decision under section 31 of the Supreme Court Act 1981 or for leave to apply for judicial review; or
 
    (b) an application to the supervisory jurisdiction of the Court of Session in respect of the decision.
 
Appeals involving issues that arise on appeal in other cases
     17. - (1) This paragraph applies where-
 
 
    (a) an appeal ("appeal A") in relation to a relevant decision (whether as originally made or as revised under paragraph 3) is made to an appeal tribunal, or from an appeal tribunal to a Commissioner; and
 
    (b) an appeal ("appeal B") is pending against a decision given in a different case by a Commissioner or a court (whether or not the two appeals concern the same benefit and whether or not the cases relate to decisions made by the same relevant authority).
      (2) If the relevant authority whose decision gave rise to appeal A consider it possible that the result of appeal B will be such that, if it were already determined, it would affect the determination of appeal A, they may serve notice requiring the tribunal or Commissioner-
 
 
    (a) not to determine appeal A but to refer it to them; or
 
    (b) to deal with the appeal in accordance with sub-paragraph (4).
      (3) Where appeal A is referred to the authority under sub-paragraph (2)(a), following the determination of appeal B and in accordance with that determination, they shall if appropriate-
 
 
    (a) in a case where appeal A has not been determined by the tribunal, revise (under paragraph 3) their decision which gave rise to that appeal; or
 
    (b) in a case where appeal A has been determined by the tribunal, make a decision (under paragraph 4) superseding the tribunal's decision.
      (4) Where appeal A is to be dealt with in accordance with this sub-paragraph, the appeal tribunal or Commissioner shall either-
 
 
    (a) stay appeal A until appeal B is determined; or
 
    (b) if the tribunal or Commissioner considers it to be in the interests of the appellant to do so, determine appeal A as if-
 
      (i) appeal B had already been determined; and
 
      (ii) the issues arising on appeal B had been decided in the way that was most unfavourable to the appellant.
      (5) Where the appeal tribunal or Commissioner acts in accordance with sub-paragraph (4)(b), following the determination of appeal B the relevant authority whose decision gave rise to appeal A shall, if appropriate, make a decision (under paragraph 4) superseding the decision of the tribunal or Commissioner in accordance with that determination.
 
      (6) For the purposes of this paragraph, an appeal against a decision is pending if-
 
 
    (a) an appeal against the decision has been brought but not determined;
 
    (b) an application for leave to appeal against the decision has been made but not determined; or
 
    (c) the time within which-
 
      (i) an application for leave to appeal may be made, or
 
      (ii) an appeal against the decision may be brought,
 
    has not expired and the circumstances are such as may be prescribed.
      (7) In this paragraph-
 
 
    (a) the reference in sub-paragraph (1)(a) to an appeal to a Commissioner includes a reference to an application for leave to appeal to a Commissioner; and
 
    (b) any reference in paragraph (a), (b) or (c) of sub-paragraph (6) to an appeal, or to an application for leave to appeal, against a decision includes a reference to-
 
      (i) an application for judicial review of the decision under section 31 of the Supreme Court Act 1981 or for leave to apply for judicial review; or
 
      (ii) an application to the supervisory jurisdiction of the Court of Session in respect of the decision.
      (8) In sub-paragraph (4) "the appellant" means the person who appealed or, as the case may be, first appealed against the decision mentioned in sub-paragraph (1)(a).
 
      (9) Regulations may make provision supplementing the provision made by this paragraph.
 
 
Restrictions on entitlement to benefit in certain cases of error
     18. - (1) Subject to sub-paragraph (2), this paragraph applies where-
 
 
    (a) the effect of the determination, whenever made, of an appeal by virtue of this Schedule to a Commissioner or the court ("the relevant determination") is that the relevant authority's decision out of which the appeal arose was erroneous in point of law; and
 
    (b) after the date of the relevant determination a decision falls to be made by that relevant authority or another relevant authority in accordance with that determination (or would, apart from this paragraph, fall to be so made)-
 
      (i) in relation to a claim for housing benefit or council tax benefit;
 
      (ii) as to whether to revise, under paragraph 3, a decision as to a person's entitlement to such a benefit; or
 
      (iii) on an application made under paragraph 4 for a decision as to a person's entitlement to such a benefit to be superseded.
      (2) This paragraph does not apply where the decision mentioned in sub-paragraph (1)(b)-
 
 
    (a) is one which, but for paragraph 16(2) or (3)(a), would have been made before the date of the relevant determination; or
 
    (b) is one made in pursuance of paragraph 17(3) or (5).
      (3) In so far as the decision relates to a person's entitlement to benefit in respect of a period before the date of the relevant determination, it shall be made as if the relevant authority's decision had been found by the Commissioner or court not to have been erroneous in point of law.
 
      (4) Sub-paragraph (1)(a) shall be read as including a case where-
 
 
    (a) the effect of the relevant determination is that part or all of a purported regulation or order is invalid; and
 
    (b) the error of law made by the relevant authority was to act on the basis that the purported regulation or order (or the part held to be invalid) was valid.
      (5) It is immaterial for the purposes of sub-paragraph (1)-
 
 
    (a) where such a decision as is mentioned in paragraph (b)(i) falls to be made, whether the claim was made before or after the date of the relevant determination;
 
    (b) where such a decision as is mentioned in paragraph (b)(ii) or (iii) falls to be made on an application under paragraph 3 or (as the case may be) 4, whether the application was made before or after that date.
      (6) In this paragraph "the court" means-
 
 
    (a) the High Court;
 
    (b) the Court of Appeal;
 
    (c) the Court of Session;
 
    (d) the House of Lords; or
 
    (e) the Court of Justice of the European Community.
      (7) For the purposes of this paragraph, any reference to entitlement to benefit includes a reference to entitlement-
 
 
    (a) to any increase in the rate of a benefit; or
 
    (b) to a benefit, or increase of benefit, at a particular rate.
      (8) The date of the relevant determination shall, in prescribed cases, be determined for the purposes of this paragraph in accordance with any regulations made for that purpose.
 
      (9) Regulations made under sub-paragraph (8) may include provision-
 
 
    (a) for a determination of a higher court to be treated as if it had been made on the date of a determination by a lower court or by a Commissioner; or
 
    (b) for a determination of a lower court or of a Commissioner to be treated as if it had been made on the date of a determination by a higher court.
 
Correction of errors and setting aside of decisions
     19. - (1) Regulations may make provision with respect to-
 
 
    (a) the correction of accidental errors in any decision or record of a decision made under or by virtue of any relevant provision; and
 
    (b) the setting aside of any such decision in a case where it appears just to set the decision aside on the ground that-
 
      (i) a document relating to the proceedings in which the decision was given was not sent to, or was not received at an appropriate time by, a party to the proceedings or a party's representative, or was not received at an appropriate time by the body or person who gave the decision; or
 
      (ii) a party to the proceedings or a party's representative was not present at a hearing related to the proceedings.
      (2) Nothing in sub-paragraph (1) shall be construed as derogating from any power to correct errors or set aside decisions which is exercisable apart from regulations made by virtue of that sub-paragraph.
 
      (3) In this paragraph "relevant provision" means-
 
 
    (a) any of the provisions of this Schedule;
 
    (b) any of the provisions of Part VII of the Social Security Contributions and Benefits Act 1992 so far as they relate to housing benefit or council tax benefit; or
 
    (c) any of the provisions of Part VIII of the Administration Act or of any regulations under section 2A of that Act, so far as the provisions or regulations relate to, or to arrangements for, housing benefit or council tax benefit.
 
Regulations
     20. - (1) The power to make regulations under this Schedule shall be exercisable-
 
 
    (a) in the case of regulations with respect to proceedings before the Commissioners, by the Lord Chancellor; and
 
    (b) in any other case, by the Secretary of State;
  and the Lord Chancellor shall consult with the Lord Advocate before making any regulations under this Schedule that apply to Scotland.
 
      (2) Any power conferred by this Schedule to make regulations shall include power to make different provision for different areas or different relevant authorities.
 
      (3) Subsections (4) to (7) of section 79 of the Social Security Act 1998 (supplemental provision in connection with powers to make subordinate legislation under that Act) shall apply to any power of the Secretary of State to make regulations under this Schedule as they apply to his powers to make regulations under that Act.
 
      (4) A statutory instrument containing (whether alone or with other provisions) regulations under paragraph 6(2)(e) or (4) shall not be made unless a draft of the instrument has been laid before Parliament and approved by a resolution of each House.
 
      (5) A statutory instrument-
 
 
    (a) which contains (whether alone or with other provisions) regulations made under this Schedule by the Secretary of State, and
 
    (b) which is not subject to any requirement that a draft of the instrument be laid before and approved by a resolution of each House of Parliament,
  shall be subject to annulment in pursuance of a resolution of either House of Parliament.
 
      (6) In this paragraph the reference to regulations with respect to proceedings before the Commissioners includes a reference to regulations with respect to any such proceedings for the determination of any matter, or for leave to appeal to or from the Commissioners.
 
 
Consequential amendments of the Administration Act
     21. - (1) In section 2B of the Administration Act (supplemental provision about work-focused interviews), after subsection (7) there shall be inserted-
 
      (7A) Subsections (5) and (6) above shall not authorise the making of any provision in relation to any decision which is a relevant decision for the purposes of Schedule 7 to the Child Support, Pensions and Social Security Act 2000.
 
      (2) In section 5(1)(hh) of that Act (regulations about claims for and payments of benefit)-
 
 
    (a) in sub-paragraph (i), after "1998" there shall be inserted "or, as the case may be, under paragraph 3 of Schedule 7 to the Child Support, Pensions and Social Security Act 2000"; and
 
    (b) in sub-paragraph (ii), after "Act" there shall be inserted "or, as the case may be, paragraph 4 of that Schedule".
      (3) In section 6(1) of that Act (regulations about claims for and payments of council tax benefit), after paragraph (h) there shall be inserted-
 
 
    (hh) for requiring such person as may be prescribed in accordance with the regulations to furnish any information or evidence needed for a determination whether a decision on an award of a benefit-
 
      (i) should be revised under paragraph 3 of Schedule 7 to the Child Support, Pensions and Social Security Act 2000; or
 
      (ii) should be superseded under paragraph 4 of that Schedule;.
 
Consequential amendments of the Social Security Act 1998
     22. - (1) Section 34(4) and (5) and section 35 of the Social Security Act 1998 (regulations for the determination of claims and reviews of housing benefit and council tax benefit and for the suspension of those benefits) shall cease to have effect.
 
      (2) In paragraph 4(1)(a) of Schedule 1 to that Act (supplementary provisions relating to the appeal tribunals), for "or section 20 of the Child Support Act" there shall be substituted ", section 20 of the Child Support Act or paragraph 6 of Schedule 7 to the Child Support, Pensions and Social Security Act 2000".
 
      (3) In paragraph 3(1) of Schedule 4 to that Act (provisions relating to the Social Security Commissioners), after "section 14 of this Act" there shall be inserted "or under paragraph 8 of Schedule 7 to the Child Support, Pensions and Social Security Act 2000".'.
 
 
Interpretation
     23. - (1) In this Schedule-
 
 
    "the Administration Act" means the Social Security Administration Act 1992;
 
    "affected" shall be construed subject to any regulations under sub-paragraph (2);
 
    "appeal tribunal" means an appeal tribunal constituted under Chapter I of Part I of the Social Security Act 1998;
 
    "the Chief Commissioner" means the Chief Social Security Commissioner;
 
    "Commissioner" means the Chief Commissioner or any other Social Security Commissioner, and includes a tribunal of three or more Commissioners constituted under paragraph 10(5);
 
    "prescribed" means prescribed by regulations under this Schedule;
 
    "relevant authority" has the meaning given by paragraph 1(1);
 
    "relevant decision" has the meaning given by paragraph 1(2).
      (2) Regulations may make provision specifying the circumstances in which a person is or is not to be treated for the purposes of this Schedule as a person who is affected by any decision of a relevant authority.
 
 
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