UK Government Couldn’t Care Less about Council Tax Benefit says Mark Drakeford

Press Release

30 May, 2012

UK Government Couldn’t Care Less about Council Tax Benefit says Mark Drakeford

Cardiff West AM Mark Drakeford has slammed the UK Government for its failure to plan for the transfer of Council Tax Benefit responsibility to the National Assembly for Wales.

Mr Drakeford asked Local Government Minister Carl Sargeant whether he had received an estimate from the Department of Work and Pensions of the costs of implementing their policy of transferring responsibility for Council Tax to the National Assembly for Wales.

The Minister has received no final estimate even though the transfer is due to take place next April.

Mr Drakeford said : “The Coalition Government has not made anything like adequate arrangements for the transfer of responsibility for a major benefit on which so many pensioners and less well-off people rely.  The Government’s own IT staff are pressing for urgent action as the transfer is due to take place in only 10 months and even their advice is falling on deaf ears.  They can’t even give us an accurate estimate of what the transfer is going to cost.

“It is utterly shambolic and the UK Government couldn’t care less.” 

ends

Notes to Editors

The UK Government intends to devolve responsibility for assessment and payment of council tax support to local authorities;

The think tank IFS estimates that the changes will cost £1.7 billion depending on take-up;

Analysis from the Institute of Fiscal Studies suggests that tax and benefit changes will leave the average Welsh household 4.1% worse off by April 2014 compared to April 2010 – a real terms drop of £1,110 a year