Council tax

Claire Wilde made this Freedom of Information request to Oxford City Council as part of a batch sent to 414 authorities

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

The request was partially successful.

To whom it may concern,

Please can I request the following information under the Freedom of Information Act:

1a) In £, the total amount of Council Tax which was unpaid, by municipal year from 2012/13 and including any arrears in 2018/19 to date);

1b) The total amount of Council Tax, in £, which was owed but never paid by Universal Credit claimants since 2012/13 (broken down by municipal year and including any arrears in 2018/19 to date);

1c) The number of households in receipt of Universal Credit which are currently in arrears on their Council Tax;

2) Since the national introduction of Universal Credit from 2013 onwards, has your authority had to reduce the number of housing officers dealing with benefits queries because of a reduction in government funding? If so, please provide figures for government funding (in £) and staffing numbers (in Full Time Equivalents) before and after these reductions.

If my request cannot be met within cost limits, please can you provide me with advice on how I may refine my request,

Yours faithfully,

Claire Wilde

freedomofinformation, Oxford City Council

 

Dear Ms Wilde,

 

Please accept our apologies for the delay in responding to  your FOI
request received on 15th March 2019.  I can now reply as follows:

 

The figures are difficult to compile accurately because universal credit
(UC) is administered by the HMRC and Council Tax is collected by local
authorities.  The HMRC only shares UC data when the Council has registered
an interest (when a charge payer claims Council Tax Support).  Therefore,
the data may be incomplete for UC claimants about which the Council is
unaware. 

 

1a) In £, the total amount of Council Tax which was unpaid, by municipal
year from 2012/13 and including any arrears in 2018/19 to date);

 

The figures provided are as of 31 March 2019.  Please bear in mind that
the Council has continued to collect arrears from previous financial years
since that financial year ended.

 

 

2012/13 = £115,135.02

2013/14 = £137,944.34

2014/15 = £189,982.10

2015/16 = £242,184.12

2016/17 = £301,091.68

2017/18 = £619,406.95

2018/19 = £1,340,280.13

 

 

 

1b) The total amount of Council Tax, in £, which was owed but never paid
by Universal Credit claimants since 2012/13 (broken down by municipal year
and including any arrears in 2018/19 to date);

 

Universal Credit was not rolled out for the Oxford City area until October
2017.  As such, all figures before 2017 will be zero.

 

2017/18 (last 6 months) = £19,037.42

2018/19 = £59,571.88

 

 

1c) The number of households in receipt of Universal Credit which are
currently in arrears on their Council Tax;

 

146 accounts

 

 

2) Since the national introduction of Universal Credit from 2013 onwards,
has your authority had to reduce the number of housing officers dealing
with benefits queries because of a reduction in government funding? If so,
please provide figures for government funding (in £) and staffing numbers
(in Full Time Equivalents) before and after these reductions.

 

 

0 and £0 – No reductions in staff have been made,  due to the fairly
recent UC rollout and the large amount of legacy Housing benefit claims
that exist.

 

 

If you disagree with any part of the response to your request, you are
entitled to ask the Council for an internal review of the decision(s)
made.  You may do this by writing to the Monitoring Officer, by either
email – [1][email address] – or by post to Monitoring Officer,
Oxford City Council, St Aldate’s Chambers, St Aldate’s, Oxford, OX1 1DS. 
After the result of the internal review, if you remain dissatisfied, you
may ask the Information Commissioner to intervene on your behalf.  You may
do this by writing to the Information Commissioner's Office, Wycliffe
Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF.

 

Yours sincerely

 

Kathryn Winfield

Freedom of Information Officer 

 

Kathryn Winfield | Freedom of Informaton Officer | Oxford City Council |
Law and Governance | St. Aldate's Chambers | Oxford | OX1 1DS | Email:
[2][email address] | T: 01865 252007 My working days are Mondays,
Tuesdays and Wednesdays

 

 

 

show quoted sections