Council Tax Benefit

Work and Pensions written question – answered on 12th February 2004.

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Photo of Ms Annabelle Ewing Ms Annabelle Ewing Spokesperson (Social Security (SNP Shadow Scottish Minister); Education & Skills; Home Office; Law Officers; Work & Pensions)

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the cost was of administering council tax benefit payments in (a) the United Kingdom and (b) Scotland in each of the last five years; what the value was of council tax benefit payments made in (i) the United Kingdom and (ii) Scotland in each of those years; and what estimate he has made of the total amount of council tax benefit unclaimed in each of those years.

Photo of Mr Chris Pond Mr Chris Pond Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Department for Work and Pensions

The available information regarding the cost of administering council tax benefit and the total value of council tax benefit payments is in the tables.

Cost of administering council tax benefit (in £ million)
Great Britain Scotland
1998–99 185.284 13,355
1999–2000 240.871 14,796
2000–01 219.162 14,644
2001–02 247.133 17,889

Note:

Figures for 2002–03 have not yet been finalised.

Source:

1. Scotland figures taken from Scottish Local Government Finance Statistics.

2. Figures for England provided by Office of the Deputy Prime Minister.

3. Figures for Wales provided by the National Assembly for Wales.

Total value of council tax benefit payments (in £ million)
Great Britain Scotland
1998–99 2,452 303
1999–2000 2,511 307
2000–01 2,575 311
2001–02 2,686 316

Note:

Figures for 2002–03 have not yet been finalised.

Source:

Final audited subsidy returns sent to Department for Work and Pensions by local authorities.

Estimates of the amount of council tax benefit left unclaimed in Great Britain are available in the Department for Work and Pensions/Department of Social Security annual report entitled "Income Related Benefits Estimates of Take-Up". Statistics are presented on a financial year basis; the latest estimates relate to 2000–01. Copies of the publications are available in the Library.

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