That this House notes that the Government has given responsibility for deciding who should receive council tax benefit to local authorities, whilst simultaneously cutting the budget available for council tax benefit by approximately 10 per cent; further notes that the national Government cut tocouncil tax benefit funding is happening against the backdrop of the planned 27.4 per cent real terms cut in funding to local government for the four years from 2011 to 2015; is concerned that councils are being forced into the position of having to either deny benefit to some of their poorest residents or increase the burden of council tax on other residents; hopes that to minimise hardship and to maximise fairness every local authority charged with administering a local council tax discount system will convene an independent panel of voluntary and public sector experts, including cross-party representation of councillors, to ensure that decisions are not influenced by short-term political aims and that consultation on where Government cuts to council tax benefit will fall is undertaken; and calls on the Government to reverse the cuts to thecouncil tax benefit budget and to local government funding overall.

Parliamentary Early Day Motion:

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