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Following the Government's announcement of £100 million transition funding for local authorities undertaking the localisation of council tax benefit in 2013/14, CIPFA has responded that the incentive is both badly timed and confusing.
Steve Freer, CIPFA's Chief Executive, said
“Local authorities have always recognised that localisation of council tax benefit has the potential to be a poisoned chalice, because the function is being transferred with only 90% of current funding. Nevertheless they have accepted the challenge and cracked on, developing and consulting on local schemes in time for implementation next April. For the government to suddenly announce its own strong view about what constitutes a good local scheme, and to make that a qualification for transitional grant, is a huge, confusing U-turn.
“No doubt those councils whose schemes happen to fit the national template will happily accept the money as they pass 'GO'. But others will face very difficult choices. Do they remain faithful to their local scheme, modified or otherwise following public consultation, or do they attempt to switch tracks to a new scheme which accommodates the Government’s preferences and attracts a slice of one-off funding?”
CIPFA Press Office
T: 020 7543 5600
Notes to Editors:
CIPFA, the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy, is the professional body for people in public finance. Our 14,000 members work throughout the public services, in national audit agencies, in major accountancy firms, and in other bodies where public money needs to be effectively and efficiently managed. As the world’s only professional accountancy body to specialise in public services, CIPFA’s portfolio of qualifications are the foundation for a career in public finance. They include the benchmark professional qualification for public sector accountants as well as a postgraduate diploma for people already working in leadership positions. They are taught by our in-house CIPFA Education and Training Centre as well as other places of learning around the world. We also champion high performance in public services, translating our experience and insight into clear advice and practical services. They include information and guidance, courses and conferences, property and asset management solutions, consultancy and interim people for a range of public sector clients. Globally, CIPFA shows the way in public finance by standing up for sound public financial management and good governance. We work with donors, partner governments, accountancy bodies and the public sector around the world to advance public finance and support better public services. This includes the development of local professional qualifications in African countries like Lesotho and Nigeria and in Europe in post conflict states in the Balkans.