Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Council Tax Benefit - Forecasts and assumptions

This research report from the DWP has no reference number that I can find (and believe me I have looked, and looked)

Executive summary

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) currently subsidises local authority spend on Council Tax Benefit (CTB) and provides forecasts of future expenditure to the Office for Budgetary Responsibility (OBR) on a biannual basis.

These estimates inform the Budget and Autumn Statements. In April 2013, Council Tax Benefit will be abolished and help for individuals to pay their Council Tax will be localised.

This was announced as part of the 2010 Spending Review, which also committed to reduce UK government expenditure on the benefit by ten percent. From this point, the DWP will no longer be responsible for forecasting expenditure on the replacement schemes individual local authorities choose to operate, and this has prompted a number of queries on forecasting methodology from Communities and Local Government (CLG), the devolved administrations, and individual Local Authorities, amongst others.

In agreement with the OBR, a decision was taken to make detailed information on the forecasts, trends and assumptions available publicly, in the interests of transparency.

This publication provides a background to Council Tax Benefit in its current form, how it is currently forecast within the DWP, and details the underlying assumptions reviewed when the forecasts are updated.

It also provides a commentary on past and future expenditure trends which underpin the forecasts, including by country.

Full text (PDF 23pp)

Hazel’s comment:
One of the few things I have actually read (if I read everything through thoroughly I’d never get anything posted) and I still don’t understand it beyond the “local government is going to be responsible for this in future”.

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