§ Mr. Bob Russell
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions if he will make it a criminal offence to claim falsely the single person's discount for the council tax; and if he will make a statement. 
§ Mr. Meale
A 25 per cent. discount applies where a dwelling is the sole or main residence of one person, or where all but one resident is disregarded for the purpose of a discount. We do not have any plans to make it a criminal offence to make an invalid claim for the 25 per cent. discount. However, local authorities already have powers to impose a penalty of £50, without having to go to the Courts, if a person receiving a discount fails to notify the authority that he is no longer (or never was) eligible for it.