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Are there any other CTRS including a MIF provision? 

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Peter Turville
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Probably a Q for Peter or Gareth:

Are there any LCTRS that include a MIF provision equivalent / similar to UC Reg 62?

We have a VT hearing listed because Oxford City Council introduced a MIF provision into its 18-19 scheme but without protection equivalent to UC Reg. 62(1)(b). Neither our client (the LCTR claimant) or his s/e partner would have been subject to ‘full conditionality’ under UC.

The council have not mitigated the impact of its provision by applying LGFA s13A(1)(c) and reduced the CT liability be an amount equal to the impact of the MIF.

the council removed a MIF provision from its 19-20 scheme because it did not achieve the original intended policy objective (to reproduce UC Reg. 62).

Is the provision / consequence unique to the Oxford scheme or has a similar provision (with or without an equivalent of UC Reg 62(1)(b)) been applied elsewhere?

HB Anorak
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Cannot name one off the top of my head but there are certainly a few dotted around the country - I have come across at least three or four in the last couple of years.  I’m sure if I have a read back through my training notes I’ll be able to identify some

Peter Turville
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HB Anorak - 23 December 2019 04:15 PM

Cannot name one off the top of my head but there are certainly a few dotted around the country - I have come across at least three or four in the last couple of years.  I’m sure if I have a read back through my training notes I’ll be able to identify some

Thanks Peter
Don’t spoil the hols by reading your training notes on my account! Just interested as ‘background’ for our case.

Helen Rogers
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Peter Turville
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Helen Rogers - 24 December 2019 08:54 AM

Stockport Council’s scheme does.  See paragraph 14 here: https://assets.ctfassets.net/ii3xdrqc6nfw/7o2N9T0ztz2J3WYH26RRW8/1babba00b267655a86ec5b9377afc3d1/Council_Tax_support_scheme_for_working_age_claims.pdf

Thanks Helen.

Interesting that Stockport’s scheme does not contain an equivalent of UC Reg. 62(1)(b) either.

Does this mean in practice under Stockport’s scheme a MIF is applied (after 12 months) in a case where it would not be applied under UC because, for example, the s/e person has LCFW, is a carer or a lone parent and therefore not subject to full conditionality? Does it also apply to the s/e earnings of the LCTRS claimant’s partners s/e earnings? Does the council provide any ‘automatic’ relief to reduce the impact on such claimant’s?

In all of the cases we have seen under Oxford’s scheme none of the claimant are on UC, are on legacy benefits and have s/e earnings either under the ‘permitted work’ rules under ESA or are on IS as carer’s (in some cases the s/e person is the claimant’s partner and carer).

Yet another disincentive to undertake s/e!

Helen Rogers
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I’m afraid I don’t know any more detail.
The document in the link is all that I can find in writing on the scheme.

Gareth Morgan
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With thanks to Sam, one of our CTR team, who clearly had too little to do before vanishing for the hols.

“I’m still picking away at this. There are a large number of LAs with minimum income floor rules! Thus far I’ve identified 24 with substantially similar wording to that used by Oxford, but I’m unfamiliar with the UC regs, so I’m not entirely sure what exactly the forum poster was looking for, so it’s possible that other LAs with different wording are equally suspect. I’m in the process of putting it all together in a summary document, but I’m not going to get it finished today, sorry.”

I won’t post all of her, lengthy, summary, but here’s a sample.

BXXXX - introduced April 2016, para 29A. Gross amount declared, or number of hours declared x NLW, whichever higher, typically one year start-up period. Wording more or less the same as Oxford.

BXXXX , para 29A. Bxxxxx confusingly have three separate policies - in work, not in work, and vulnerable. MIF does NOT appear in the policy for vulnerable claimants.

Vulnerable claimants are working age and entitled to disability premium, enhanced disability premium, severe disability premium, disability premium for dependents, enhanced disability premium for dependents, a disabled earnings disregard, a reduction in CT banding via the CT Reductions for Disabilities Regs 1992, war disablement pension, war widows pension, Armed Forces Compensation Scheme Payment, carer’s allowance, carer premium within UC, IS or other passported benefit, ESA support.

Any claimants who are NOT vulnerable have MIF applied, whether classed as in work or not in work Not in work, for Brentford, means “he or his partner is NOT in remunerative work. For the purposes of this scheme remunerative work is deemed to be where either the claimant or partner is employed or self-employed and is engaged in an average of at least 16 hours per week”.

Higher of 16 x NMW or appropriate market rate for that employment, typically 2 years start-up period. Wording more or less the same as Oxford.

CXXXX ( - introduced April 2017, figures uprated each year so far, para 48 and 48A. Higher net amount of either actual self-employed earnings or minimum income floor used. Note the LA provides specific figures for full-time (NLW x 35) and part-time (NLW x 16); typically 12 months start-up period; does not apply to childminders.

CXXXX - introduced April 2016, para 29A. If self-employed person in receipt of CA, DLA high care or PIP enhanced daily living, then will be minimum NMW/NLW x 16. Otherwise, is NMW/NLW x 35 or number of hours declared, whichever is higher. Typically 1 year start-up period. Wording otherwise more or less the same as Oxford.

CXXXX  - para 29A. 16 x NMW if a lone parent, 35 x NMW otherwise, except where claimant partner deemed not to be in gainful employment or is a childminder. Typically one year start-up period. They only have two paragraphs for this, the first one setting out the calculation, the second setting out the start-up period.

CXXXX  para 29A. NMW x 18 or no. of hours declared worked, whichever higher; applied after 3 months of self-employment. Only a single paragraph, setting out the calculation and timescale.

DXXXX  - introduced in April 2017, amended in April 2019 when they moved to an income-banded scheme, para 23. 35 x NMW, typically 2 years start-up, a requirement that the self-employment must be taking up 35 hours per week (para 23.5(b)). There are also some exemptions: applicant is a lone parent of a child under 5, applicant or partner in receipt of PIP standard or enhanced daily living, DLA middle or high care, AFIP, CA or underlying entitlement to it (if only one of them is in receipt of these, then only that one person gets the exemption, if both in receipt, then both get the exemption).

DXXXX  introduced in April 2017, figures uprated each year so far, para 48 and 48A. Higher net amount of either actual self-employed earnings or minimum income floor used. Note the LA provides specific figures for full-time (NLW x 35) and part-time (NLW x 16); typically 12 months start-up period; does not apply to childminders.

EXXXX  - introduced from April 2017, para 29A. Gross income declared or 35 x NMW/NLW, whichever is higher; typically 1 year start-up period. Wording more or less the same as Oxford.

EXXXX para 29A. Only applies where applicant or partner are self-employed for 16 hours or more per week. NMW x 35 or no. hours declared, whichever higher, typically one year start-up period. Otherwise wording more or less the same as Oxford.

EXXXX  - introduced from April 2016, para 29A. Calculated income or 35 x NMW/NLW, whichever is higher. If applicant in receipt of disability premium, or responsible for disabled partner and disability premium awarded, or responsible for disabled child and disabled child premium awarded, then calculated income or 16 x NMW/NLW, whichever is higher. Typically one year start-up period; only one start-up period allowed within a five year period. Otherwise wording more or less the same as Oxford…..”

etc. etc.

Ianb
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“Calculation of income and capital: persons who are not pensioners who have an award of universal credit
37. —  (1)  In determining the income of an applicant— 
(a) who has, or 
(b) who (jointly with his partner) has, 
an award of universal credit the authority must, subject to the following provisions of this paragraph, use the calculation or estimate of the amount of the income of the applicant, or the applicant and his partner jointly (as the case may be), made by the Secretary of State for the purpose of determining the award of universal credit.
”

By default this means that a self employed person with the MIF applied in UC will effectively have it applied for CTR although the CTR scheme itself makes no reference to the MIF.

In this particular scheme a self employed person not on UC is not subject to a MIF (as far as I can see).

[ Edited: 24 Dec 2019 at 02:46 pm by Ianb ]
Gareth Morgan
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A bit more from Sam, fresh from her break.

From what we have as of now, there are 66 LAs running some sort of Minimum Income Floor in their LCTR.

Of that 66, 11 are using the full regs as their scheme basis, one (TH) has no published regs that we’ve been able to obtain, 11 are using ‘other’ regs - these can vary from a few page summary up to variations on the full regs that have been reorganised - and the remaining 43 are using what I’ve nicknamed the ‘short’ scheme - something cobbled together from (I believe) the HB Regs, excluding all the pensioner material except for a few items at the beginning of the scheme. Oxford uses one of these ‘short’ schemes. I also note that Warwick did briefly have a Minimum Income Floor in their scheme, but quietly dropped it again after a year.

In all, 35 of the 66 LAs have policy wording that is similar to the wording used by Oxford.
Three of those 35 use the full regs, the remainder are all using the ‘short’ regs.

There is, however, a certain amount of variation in what they will use to calculate the Minimum Income Floor - while most are using 35 x NMW/NLW, some are more generously using 16 x NMW/NLW, while the harshest is up to 37 x NMW/NLW. Still others use hours declared or a set number, whichever is higher. There’s also some variation in the length of start-up period - most use one year, but there are instances of two years, six months or 18 months.

Peter Turville
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Gareth Morgan - 06 January 2020 01:09 PM

A bit more from Sam, fresh from her break.

Hi Gareth

Thank Sam for all her work - she obviously did not read my comment above to Peter!

As you know Oxford dropped a MIF provision from its 2019-20 scheme but we are still dealing with the consequences of its inclusion in their 2018-19 scheme.

However, there is an ongoing issue with their scheme and UC. Their scheme includes the following definition:

‘Universal Credit Other Income’
means any other income defined by the SSWP during the UC award period.

This means that ‘legacy benefit’ ‘overlapping payments’ recovered from UC under UC(TP)Reg. 10 are treated as income in the council’s scheme for UC claimants. Recovery under Reg. 10 shows as ‘other income’ on UC payments statements.

This provision means claimants face a ‘double whammy’ of reduced / nil UC payment (after the 5 wk wait for payment) for their first (and possibly subsequent) ‘assessment period’ and reduced / nil LCTR for the same period as a result - with the inevitable increased debt issues etc. We are waiting to see how OCC respond to this issue following consultation on their 20-21 scheme.

Another consequence of trying to replicate (‘cut & paste’) UC provision into LCTRS.

Again it would be interesting to know if other council’s schemes have a similar provision (although I am not asking Sam to spend even more time on this!).

 

[ Edited: 6 Jan 2020 at 02:02 pm by Peter Turville ]
Charles
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Peter Turville - 06 January 2020 02:00 PM

However, there is an ongoing issue with their scheme and UC. Their scheme includes the following definition:

‘Universal Credit Other Income’
means any other income defined by the SSWP during the UC award period.

This means that ‘legacy benefit’ ‘overlapping payments’ recovered from UC under UC(TP)Reg. 10 are treated as income in the council’s scheme for UC claimants. Recovery under Reg. 10 shows as ‘other income’ on UC payments statements.

This provision means claimants face a ‘double whammy’ of reduced / nil UC payment (after the 5 wk wait for payment) for their first (and possibly subsequent) ‘assessment period’ and reduced / nil LCTR for the same period as a result - with the inevitable increased debt issues etc. We are waiting to see how OCC respond to this issue following consultation on their 20-21 scheme.

Another consequence of trying to replicate (‘cut & paste’) UC provision into LCTRS.

Again it would be interesting to know if other council’s schemes have a similar provision (although I am not asking Sam to spend even more time on this!).

I don’t understand why this affects the CTR at all? ‘Other income’ reduces the UC payment amount by an equal amount, so total income for CTR purposes will remain constant.

Peter Turville
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Charles - 06 January 2020 05:15 PM
Peter Turville - 06 January 2020 02:00 PM

However, there is an ongoing issue with their scheme and UC. Their scheme includes the following definition:

‘Universal Credit Other Income’
means any other income defined by the SSWP during the UC award period.

This means that ‘legacy benefit’ ‘overlapping payments’ recovered from UC under UC(TP)Reg. 10 are treated as income in the council’s scheme for UC claimants. Recovery under Reg. 10 shows as ‘other income’ on UC payments statements.

This provision means claimants face a ‘double whammy’ of reduced / nil UC payment (after the 5 wk wait for payment) for their first (and possibly subsequent) ‘assessment period’ and reduced / nil LCTR for the same period as a result - with the inevitable increased debt issues etc. We are waiting to see how OCC respond to this issue following consultation on their 20-21 scheme.

Another consequence of trying to replicate (‘cut & paste’) UC provision into LCTRS.

Again it would be interesting to know if other council’s schemes have a similar provision (although I am not asking Sam to spend even more time on this!).

I don’t understand why this affects the CTR at all? ‘Other income’ reduces the UC payment amount by an equal amount, so total income for CTR purposes will remain constant.

Hi Charles
Yes I see your point! On looking at actual decision notices and the way the calc is set out I am now wondering if there may be (had been) a software issue or the way DWP info. to LA re UC award / the actual UC payment notice issued to claimant was being interpreted by LA such that LCT was taking the UC ‘applicable amount’ figure and then adding the ‘other income’ figure to applicable amount rather than subtracting it to arrive at the ‘UC award’ figure for LCT.

For example: Reg 10 figure is 2 weeks x HB £190.00.

(1) UC applicable amount 317.82 + 126.11 = UC applicable amount 443.93 minus £190.00 ‘other income’ = ‘UC award’ = £253.93 - therefore claimant is not disadvantaged under CTR.
(2) UC applicable amount 317.82 + 126.11 + ‘other income’ 190.00 = ‘UC award’ 633.93 - therefore claimant is disadvantaged.

We rarely see clients at the UC initial claim stage so only picked up as a potential issue when dealing with some other benefit issue and checking back on UC / LCT payments for some other reason. I claim a senior moment on working from the decision notices ‘backwards’ rather than forward from the LCT scheme rules - which of course I would always do with benefits!! That’s why Rightsnet discussion is so helpful. The cases date back to the early days of ‘FSUC’ locally. We haven’t come across any cases recently so will investigate further!

 

Gareth Morgan
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Peter Turville - 06 January 2020 02:00 PM

Again it would be interesting to know if other council’s schemes have a similar provision (although I am not asking Sam to spend even more time on this!).

Sam’s wondrous system produces Bath and N E Somerset

Jon (CHDCA)
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Ianb - 24 December 2019 02:40 PM

“Calculation of income and capital: persons who are not pensioners who have an award of universal credit
37. —  (1)  In determining the income of an applicant— 
(a) who has, or 
(b) who (jointly with his partner) has, 
an award of universal credit the authority must, subject to the following provisions of this paragraph, use the calculation or estimate of the amount of the income of the applicant, or the applicant and his partner jointly (as the case may be), made by the Secretary of State for the purpose of determining the award of universal credit.
”

By default this means that a self employed person with the MIF applied in UC will effectively have it applied for CTR although the CTR scheme itself makes no reference to the MIF.

In this particular scheme a self employed person not on UC is not subject to a MIF (as far as I can see).

So that would be unequal treatment for claimants in the same circs, where the one who happens to have claimed UC has the MIF applied in their CTR, but the one who hasn’t claimed UC does not?

Conversely, I presume there could be cases where someone who falls under UC does not have the MIF applied, due to the exemptions in UC reg 62(5) such as having LCWRA say. This means they would never have an MIF in their CTR either. Whereas an equivalent person with LCWRA who hadn’t claimed UC could have a local MIF rule applied under their local CTR rules.

(My current understanding of our local scheme is that, even though it contains no equivalent to all the protections in UC reg 62(5), the local scheme rule on using the UC income figures if someone has an award of UC will trump the rule about when to apply the minimum income floor. I would welcome any corrections on this assumption)

Peter Turville
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Going back to a MIF within a LCTRS and my ignorance of the legislation perhaps the usual suspects would be kind enough to explain:-

CTRS(PR)(E)Regs, Sch. 1, para 21 ‘Earnings of self-employed earners’  - 21(1) “earnings” .... means the gross earnings from the employment. As calculated under paras. 29-30

What empowers a LA to depart from this definition / calculation of s/e earnings (which mostly replicates similar provision in ‘legacy’ means tested benefits) within its scheme and impose a MIF which is I would argue is in effect a deeming provision that treats a s/e earner as having “earnings” that are significantly greater than their gross earnings.

Could the imposition of a MIF within a LA’s scheme be ultra vires the Regs? What am I missing?

Charles
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Those regs are the minimum requirements for pensioners. I don’t think any LA has tried to use a MIF for pensioners.