Monday, March 10, 2008


A couple of posts ago, I took umbrage at James Purnell MP, Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, for his assertions that Scotland would forfeit some £400m of Council Tax Benefit if we were to replace the Council Tax with a local income tax.

His argument, you may remember, was the rather trite 'if there's no Council Tax there's no Council Tax benefit'. You can therefore imagine my delight this weekend to read in the Sunday Herald the revelation that, as this Treasury 'Statement of Funding Policy' document from 1997 makes clear (point 7, page 39), Council Tax benefit is post-devolution to be regarded as part of the Scottish Block grant.

So, was Purnell misleading us earlier, was he poorly informed, or was he simply trying to throw his weight about and scaremonger? It scarecely matters now - with the release of this Treasury document, we have what I believe is often called called a 'slam dunk'.

1 comment:

Julie Hepburn said...

Good post - but that's not why I'm commenting. Wasn't sure how to get hold of you directly these days, so I've emailed you at the address on the approved register. Just in case you don't check it very often...