Joint Committee on Statutory Instruments Third Report


APPENDIX III

Memorandum by the Department of the Environment

COUNCIL TAX (CHARGEABLE DWELLINGS, EXEMPT DWELLINGS AND DISCOUNT DISREGARDS) AMENDMENT ORDER 1997 (S.I. 1997/656)

  1. By a letter from its Clerk dated 6 June the Committee has requested the Department to submit a memorandum on the following point:

    "New article 2(5) of the Council Tax (Exempt Dwellings) Order 1992 (inserted by article 3(3)) provides that for the purposes of Class W a person [A] is to be regarded as the relative of another [B] if - (i) he [A] is the spouse of that person [B], or (ii) he is that person's [B's] parent, grandparent, child, grandchild, brother, sister, uncle, aunt, nephew or niece or is the parent or child of such a person [B].

      Explain why the underlined words have been included."

  2. The phrase "such a person" was not intended to refer to "that person [B]". It was intended to refer to "that person's parent, grandparent, child, grandchild, brother, sister, uncle, aunt, nephew or niece". So a person [A] is regarded as the relative of another [B] if A is the parent or child of B's parent, grandparent, child, grandchild, brother, sister, uncle, aunt, nephew or niece. This means that A is regarded as the relative of B if, for example:

    (i)   A is the parent of B's grandparent, i.e. A is B's great-grandparent; or

    (ii)   A is the child of B's grandchild, i.e. A is B's great grandchild.

  3. The relatives which it was intended to cover by the exemption were: spouse, parent, grandparent, great-grandparent, child, grandchild, great-grandchild, brother, sister, nephew, great-nephew, niece, great-niece, uncle, great-uncle, aunt and great-aunt. However, it appears that the words used do not in fact include great-uncles and great-aunts (i.e. the brothers and sisters of grandparents), and do include parents and children of non-blood related uncles and aunts (which were not intended).

  4. The Department intends to review the provisions and make suitable amendments to achieve its policy in the near future. 11th June 1997


 
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Prepared 29 July 1997