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CAPPING CAUSES 'CONFUSED ACCOUNTABILITY'

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The success of implementing the council tax reflects its greater acceptance by both the public and politicians and ...
The success of implementing the council tax reflects its greater acceptance by both the public and politicians and its ease of collection, according to a report by the Chartered Association of Certified Accountants (ACCA), The Scotsman reports (p6).

There is a 96% to 98% collect rate for council tax in Scotland, compared to around 85% for poll tax. This efficiency, the report claims, is due to the one bill per household system, with many of the discounts of the poll tax eliminated.

The ACCA report criticises the 'confused accountability' resulting from the capping system. Local government spending had become dependent on limits set by externally imposed spending assessments, thus confusing accountability for local services between central and local government.

The authors of the report, reviewed in The Scotsman, believe that the system of spending and grant assessments in both Scotland and England should not be used as a capping instrument.

The pending introduction of league tables will do little to improve relations between local and central government, the report also suggests.
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