Select Committee on Deregulation and Regulatory Reform Sixth Report


Letter from the Clerk of the Committee to the Local Government Association and Welsh Local Government Association

Proposal for the Regulatory Reform (Housing Assistance) (England and Wales) Order 2002

I understand that you have been involved with the development of the above proposal, which was considered by the House of Commons Deregulation and Regulatory Reform Committee at its meeting earlier this week.

The Committee understands that local authorities have broadly welcomed the proposals. However, it would be grateful for your comments on one specific point. A number of local authorities mention in their responses to consultation that the introduction of the measures contained in the proposal will entail potentially significant 'start-up' costs in the short term, particularly in the formulation of the published policy and in setting up new systems and processes to administer grants and loans under the new legislation. The Committee would be grateful to know whether you expect to receive any additional help from the Department to meet these costs; and whether you consider the burden of these additional short-term costs to be proportionate to the long-term benefits claimed for these proposals of additional flexibility and the removal of bureaucratic burdens.

The Committee would also welcome your comments on any other aspect of the proposal, particularly on any other outstanding difficulties with which you may be concerned (I note particularly in this regard the fact that a number of respondents to consultation, including several local authorities, mentioned the potential difficulties involved in ensuring that local authorities were able to give appropriate financial advice).

17 January 2002

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