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Single Person Discount Review 2018

 

Why is the SPD review being undertaken?

The Audit Commission reports that over £200m of Single Person Discounts may be inappropriately awarded nationally and as such impacting upon the already overstretched budgets of LA’s all over the country.

As such Dudley Council, in partnership with Civica are undertaking an evidence based Single Person Discount review, using a combination of Council data, third party data sources and specialist validation services. This is to:

  • Establish the discount for genuine claimants efficiently and accurately.
  • Eliminate ineligible or erroneous claims and increase revenue for the council
  • To ensure fairness for all residents so that those who are paying the correct level of Council Tax are not subsidising their fellow residents who are erroneously claiming the discount.

 

Who are Civica?

Civica provides services in Revenues and Benefits processing work for many local authorities throughout the country. Civica has a dedicated and specialist team of experienced Council Tax officers to carry out discount reviews. The law allows for the contracting out of Council Tax functions under - The Local Authorities (Contracting Out of Tax Billing, Collection and Enforcement Functions) Order 1996.

 

How do Civica check the validity of the SPD?

Civica matches the Council Tax database with third party sources and specialist validation services. Addresses of those in receipt of a single person discount are passed to an agency that runs a search to match other data sources such as the electoral register or credit agreements. The agency then provides Civica with a list of possible adults at the property.

 

Does this breach GDPR/The Data Protection Act?

No. Civica holds the data for the correct purposes i.e. the billing and collection of a tax. The data is held for as long as required then destroyed. No database is compiled that could be shared with or accessed by other bodies or sources.

 

I have received a letter with a return envelope. However the address on the envelope is a Pershore address. Is this genuine?

All returned forms are being handled by Civica at their specialist mailing centre at Pershore. The information you provide will be electronically scanned onto your Council Tax account.

 

What will happen if I do not return the if I do not return the form?

Where a person does not return the forms that have been sent out of part of this review and therefore does not notify the Council without reasonable excuse that the discount no longer applies or should not apply, then a £70 penalty will be charged in accordance with schedule 3 of the Local Government Finance Act 1992.