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GOVT. TAX CHANGES MADE COUNCILS LOOK 'SILLY' -IRRV

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The government's last minute changes on council tax benefit left local authorities looking 'silly', IRRV council me...
The government's last minute changes on council tax benefit left local authorities looking 'silly', IRRV council member Pat Doherty told the Institute of Revenues, Rating and Valuation collection and enforcement conference in Chorley today.

The government back-tracked on restrictions to council tax benefit for high-band properties, announcing the decision at the end of March. But councils had already sent bills out and explained the restrictions to customers, Mr Doherty said. They then had to write back to customers and say the situation had changed, only a few days later.

Although he welcomed the government's change of mind, 'this sort of last minute change makes a nonsense of our administration,' he said.

He also warned delegates that they would not be immune from the requirements of best value. The move to a customer-driven culture will affect debt recovery too, he said.
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