COUNCIL IN SINGLE PERSON COUNCIL TAX DISCOUNT CRACKDOWN

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Island residents who claim single person discount on their council tax bills are being notified of a forthcoming review.

Letters are being sent out during March reminding people they must tell the council if they are no longer eligible for the 25%.

The letters will accompany annual council tax bills and will be followed in April/May with a detailed review of households where a single person discount is currently awarded. This is to check that local council taxpayers who currently benefit remain entitled to the discount.

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The Isle of Wight Council has appointed an external agency using data matching technology to identify where people may be claiming discounts they are not entitled to.

As part of the review – and where some doubt exists – households will be contacted and given a deadline to confirm their status, otherwise the discount will be withdrawn.

A council spokesperson said:

“If you claim the discount and no longer qualify as a person living alone you must let us know so we can update our records.

“We’d also like to remind residents who qualify but have not claimed, that they are entitled to do so.

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“The checks form part of the council’s measures to prevent and detect fraud and protect the public purse and to ensure claims are by council taxpayers who are genuinely entitled.

“We would strongly urge all claimants who no longer qualify to let us know as soon as possible. This will mean our records should be up to date for when the review in April/May takes place.”

More information about single person discount can be found at www.iwight.com/ctspdreview.

The views/opinions expressed in these comments are solely those of the author and do not represent those of Island Echo. House rules on commenting must be followed at all times.
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Fred
Fred
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” external agency using data matching technology” They will be using your social media data. You may wonder what is the problem if you’re telling the truth. The issue is when the data is wrong and you now find yourself having to defined yourself against a false claim.Often costing you money. There was a time that someone would come and visit. That is how to do it. Big brother is watching

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generally they will get the electoral roll and check it against the addresses with a resident claiming single person discount. If someone has been daft enough to register to vote at an address and is not the person claiming single occupancy discount – then the council will come calling.

They then check back as far as records allow and will reclaim every penny from as many years as possible.

The council is required to inform you if they do these exercises – hence the letter to single occupancy claimants.

examples of other sets of data used in “data matching” under the national fraud initiative..

ouncil house tenants
Housing Benefit claimants
council tax payers
employees
voters (the full electoral roll)
student grant recipients
Single Person Discount holders (for council tax)
private care home residents
residents’ parking permit holders
Blue Badge holders
bus pass holders
insurance claimants
market traders
taxi licence holders
personal alcohol licence holders

Damocles
Damocles
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Useless IWC strikes again. And how much will this external agency cost? Every time something needsG then external people are brought in so you have to wonder why anyone at this council are paid more than minimum wage?
And what is the main source of info for checking – well the electoral roll – and who maintains and administers that? The council – who are now paying someone else to check it for them.
And if someone has been told they are living with someone when they are not then how do you prove a negative??

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damocles,

the national fraud initiative has all the data sent to it from all the councils around the country – when they do this data checking, they are also comparing against records from all over the UK – this allows them to see if someone is working in a different authority, but has a postal address somewhere else.

one council carried out this review a while back and recovered over 65k in public funds. The agency that carries out the work, doesn’t charge anywhere near this amount, from what I understand of it.

Someones word about someone living in at an address is not taken as fact – it is verified. the councils benefit fraud team will be watching the address for signs of another individual coming and going on a regular basis, if they feel it is justified.

Alister Lee
Alister Lee
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How much are the council wasting of our money on this external agency ! Or is that owned by another counciler as well ! come on tell us the cost !

Mariner58
Mariner58
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If anybody had opted out of the ‘open electoral register’ then there must surely be serious questions about the legitimacy of the council giving access to full electoral register to an ‘outside agency’ and they should be prepared for the very high cost of litigation if we subsequently get marketing junk mail if that agency releases any of that information, even by ‘accident’.

Sam Howard
Sam Howard
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Council tax is an illegal tax and you are under no obligation to pay it so don’t, look up Jamie Bennett on Facebook or just Google it, there is plenty of information out there about this

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none given
Online

@sam – you are incorrect and the information online is misleading – please read the statutory instruments relating to council tax….
people do go to jail for non payment and fighting this system, by refusing to pay, is not a winning strategy, if you have the means to pay to begin with.

excerpts…

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/1992/613/made

STATUTORY INSTRUMENTS

1992 No. 613
COUNCIL TAX, ENGLAND AND WALES

These Regulations may be cited as the Council Tax (Administration and Enforcement) Regulations 1992 and shall come into force on 1st April 1992.

Information from residents, etc.
3.—(1) A person who appears to a billing authority to be a resident, owner or managing agent of a particular dwelling shall supply to the authority such information as fulfils the following conditions—

(a)it is in the possession or control of the person concerned;
(b)the authority requests (by notice given in writing) the person concerned to supply it; and
(c)it is requested by the authority for the purposes of identifying the person who, in respect of any period specified in the notice, is the liable person in relation to the dwelling.

and

3) In paragraph (1)—

(a)“managing agent” means any person authorised to arrange lettings of the dwelling concerned; and
(b)the reference to the liable person is a reference to a person who is liable (whether solely or jointly and severally) to pay to a billing authority, in respect of a particular dwelling, an amount in respect of council tax; and includes a reference to a person who in the opinion of the authority will be so liable

and

18.—(1) Subject to paragraph (2), for each financial year a billing authority shall serve a notice in writing on every liable person in accordance with regulations 19 to 21.

and..

Commitment to prison
47.—(1) Where a billing authority has sought to levy an amount by distress under regulation 45, the debtor is an individual who has attained the age of 18 years, and the person making the distress reports to the authority that he was unable (for whatever reason) to find any or sufficient goods of the debtor on which to levy the amount, the authority may apply to a magistrates’ court for the issue of a warrant committing the debtor to prison.

(2) On such application being made the court shall (in the debtor’s presence) inquire as to his means and inquire whether the failure to pay which has led to the application is due to his wilful refusal or culpable neglect.

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please also remember that the structure of our society is an “indirect democracy” – that being we elect people to act on our behalf.
The only example of direct democracy in recent times in the UK is the 2016 referendum on europe.

as our elected politicians approved the local funding aspect to constituency finances on our behalf, we accept that this is the model our society had adopted to ensure funding is covered for things like refuse collection, street sweeping etc.

whilst it is not perfect and there are better systems out there, this is the one we have – if you have a better system – please have it reviewed by our MP’s and other law makers.

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