2019 Consultations

The Non-Domestic Rates (Scotland) Bill

The Non-Domestic Rates (Scotland) Bill was introduced to the Scottish Parliament on 25th March 2019. The Local Government and Communities Committee, the Lead Committee on the Bill, has issued a call for evidence on the proposals, including mainstream independent schools no longer being able to claim charitable relief. The Bill also aims to address what the Scottish Government describes as a known tax avoidance tactic involving unoccupied or under-used properties.

The proposals include:

  • tax relief reforms for new or improved properties, intended to encourage development and investment in business properties.
  • revaluation of properties subject to non-domestic rates being carried out every 3 years rather than every 5 years.
  • a measure intended to address a perceived “loophole” that enables owners of holiday homes to avoid both council tax and non-domestic rates by making it more difficult to enter a home on the roll.
  • clarification as to when sports clubs should be allowed rates relief.
  • an alteration to enable councils to initiate debt recovery proceedings for unpaid rates sooner.

For information about submitting a written response, please see the following link on the Scottish Parliament website, https://www.parliament.scot/parliamentarybusiness/CurrentCommittees/111638.aspx

The call for written views closed on Thursday 30 May 2019.

The Institute's submission, which was formally made by the Scottish Association, can be found here:

 

Parliamentary Committee Inquiry: Local Government Finance and the 2019 Spending Review

The Parliamentary Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee have announced a new inquiry into local government finance. Ahead of the Spending Review 2019 expected this autumn, the inquiry will consider how effective the existing funding set-up for local government is in providing resources to meet need and demand for local services both now and in the future. The Committee’s work will seek to directly inform government policy towards local government funding in the Spending Review and beyond.

Terms of reference

The Committee is inviting submissions on:

  • What lessons can be learned from past changes to local government funding in England, the current financial situation of councils, and how this has affected their ability to deliver services.
  • The efficiency, fitness for purpose and sustainability of the current system for funding local government (central government funding, council tax, business rates retention and other income); how it could be improved, including options for widening the available sources of funding; and what lessons can be learned from other jurisdictions.
  • How funding needs of local government are assessed. The current and forecast funding needs of local government and how these needs can be better understood at both a national and local level.
  • The approach the Government should take to local government funding as part of the 2019 Spending Review, what the key features of that settlement should be, and what the potential merits are of new or alternative approaches to the provision of funding within the review.

The deadline for written evidence is Wednesday 17 April 2019. Further details can be found at: https://www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/commons-select/housing-communities-and-local-government-committee/inquiries/parliament-2017/inquiry18/

The Institute's response can be found here

Decapitalisation rates for the 2021 business rates revaluation (Wales)

The Welsh Government is undertaking a technical consultation on setting decapitalisation rates for Wales for the Non-Domestic Rates Revaluation 2021.

This consultation closes on 30 May 2019.

The consultation paper can be found at https://beta.gov.wales/sites/default/files/consultations/2019-03/decapitalisation-rates-for-wales-consultation_0.pdf

The IRRV response can be found here.

 

Decapitalisation rates for the 2021 business rates revaluation (England)

The government seeking views on the decapitalisation rates to be adopted for the 2021 business rates revaluation in England.

This consultation closes at 11:45pm on 30 May 2019

The government has committed to introduce more frequent business rates revaluations and will bring forward the date of the next revaluation from 2022 to 2021. Thereafter the government will move to 3 yearly revaluations ensuring rating assessments are more up to date.

This technical consultation concerns whether the government should prescribe decapitalisation rates for 2021 and, if so, how the rates should be prescribed.

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The IRRV response can be found here.

Northern Ireland Welfare Policy Inquiry

 

The Northern Ireland Affairs and Work and Pensions Committees are holding a joint inquiry into welfare policy in Northern Ireland. The deadline for written submissions is Friday 24 May 2019. The inquiry follows the passage of the Northern Ireland Budget Act which set out funding for NI departments, and the upcoming end in 2020 of the social security ‘mitigation’ package put in place by the NI Executive. The inquiry will consider the impact of the mitigation package, the operation of Universal Credit (including alternative payment arrangements) and the effect of the two-child limit.

The social security ‘mitigation package’—an additional £585m of welfare spending put in place by the NI Executive as part of the Fresh Start Agreement—is due to end in 2020. The package currently provides payments to people to offset the benefit cap and the ‘bedroom tax’. The inquiry will examine the likely impact of the spending ending in 2020 and the effects of having higher levels of welfare entitlement in Northern Ireland.

It will also look at the operation of Universal Credit in Northern Ireland, including issues with housing arrears and deductions, and how the alternative payment arrangements—which allow people to get UC payments on a different frequency or split them between members of a household—are working in practice. The inquiry will also consider the impact of the two-child limit—the Government’s policy that families can’t claim child benefits for any third or subsequent child born on or after 6 April 2017—in Northern Ireland.

The Committee would like to hear views on the following questions. They are interested in hearing from people with personal experience of the issues – such as using the Universal Credit system in NI - as well as policy organisations and expert groups. It is not necessary to answer all of the questions.

Terms of Reference

  • What has been the impact of the NI Executive social security 'mitigation package'?
  • What would be the likely effects of the mitigation package coming to an end in 2020?
  • What, if anything, should replace the mitigation package from 2020?
  • What are the effects of having higher levels of welfare entitlement in Northern Ireland? Is it feasible for Northern Ireland to have differing levels of welfare entitlement in the long term?
  • How well is Universal Credit working in Northern Ireland? Are there issues with Universal Credit that are specific to Northern Ireland compared to the rest of the UK?
  • Do people in Northern Ireland benefit from the flexibility to have Universal Credit paid at a different frequency or with split payments?
  • What is the impact of the two-child limit on families in Northern Ireland?
  • Do social housing tenants in Northern Ireland (including NIHE tenants) regularly experience rent arrears? What are the reasons for this? What level of deductions do tenants face to pay back arrears?

The consultation closed on 24th May 2019.  The IRRV response can be found here.

 

The Impact of Business Rates on Business Inquiry (England)

Summary

The Treasury Committee has launched an inquiry into Business Rates to scrutinise how Government policy has impacted business. The Committee will examine how Business Rates policy has changed, including Business Rates retention, alternatives to property-based taxes, such as the proposed digital services tax, and how changes to Business Rates could impact businesses.

Terms of Reference

The inquiry will look at how changes in Central Government policy have changed the business rates system. In turn, this inquiry will also look at how the current business rates system is operating and the associated impact on business.

The inquiry will cover the following:-

  • The impact of changes in Business Rates policy since 2017 on businesses, in particular:-
    - The changes in reliefs and allowances.
    - The ability of businesses to pay.
    - The relationship between Business Rates and the behaviours it drives in business.

  • How the current Business Rate system measures up against the following pillars of good tax policy:-

- Fair.
- Support growth and encourage competition.
- Provide certainty.
- Be coherent.

  • The economic justification for a property-based business tax:-
    - The impact of Business Rates on rental prices
    - The impact of Business Rates on property prices
    - Alternatives to property-based business taxes, such as the proposed digital services tax
    - The problems associated with property-based business taxes
    - The impact of changes (proposed and actual) of Business Rates on Local Authorities and Councils, and the High Street.

The deadline for written submissions is 2 April 2019. The document can be found at https://www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/commons-select/treasury-committee/inquiries1/parliament-2017/inquiry3/

The IRRV submission to this inquiry can be found here

 

Business Rate Retention Reform (England)

This consultation sought views on proposals for sharing risk and reward, managing volatility in income and setting up the reformed business rates retention system.

The reform of the business rates retention system will sit alongside wider changes to the local government finance system which the government aims to introduce in 2020.

The closing date for comments was 21 February 2019. The document can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/business-rates-retention-reform?utm_source=a5080470-f3db-4fd5-a225-3fe50358fec4&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=govuk-notifications&utm_content=daily

The Institute's response can be found here

 

MOJ Review of the 2014 enforcement agent reforms introduced by Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Act: Call for Evidence

The government has conducted the second post-implementation review of regulations which were introduced in 2014 to regulate the operation of enforcement agents and the fees that they charge. The reforms implemented provisions in the Tribunals, Courts and Enforcement Act 2007. This call for evidence will feed into that review. MOJ are interested in hearing from people who have been contacted by enforcement agents: enforcement agents, creditors, debt advisers, the judiciary and anybody else with experience of working with enforcement agents.

The call for evidence ended on 17 February 2019.  The evidence background paper can be found at: https://consult.justice.gov.uk/digital-communications/review-of-enforcement-agent-bailiff-reforms/

The Institute's response can be found here

 

Breathing Space

29 Jan 2019

The Institute of Revenues, Rating and Valuation (IRRV) is pleased to provide this submission to the call for evidence regarding the Breathing Space proposals.

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IRRV Response:  Consultation on the Business Rates treatment of self-catering accommodation

19 Jan 2019

The Institute of Revenues, Rating and Valuation (IRRV) is pleased to provide this response to the consultation on government proposals on the Business Rates treatment of self catering accommodation

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The Impact and Effect of the Non-Domestic Rating (Definition of Domestic Property) (Wales) Order 2010 (SI 2010 No. 682)

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