HC Deb 27 November 2003 vol 415 cc419-20W
Mr. Dennis Turner

To ask the Deputy Prime Minister (1) what assumptions will be made in the operation of the transitional protection scheme concerning the use of the option of housing authorities to apply to his Department for a special direction to transfer any amount of the 2001–02 Housing Revenue Account to the General Fund;[142822]

(2) whether he plans to consult on the possible ways in which the transitional protection scheme will operate;[142824]

(3) if he will provide before 1 January 2004 exemplifications of the impact of the Transitional Protection Scheme at an individual local authority level based on the latest available audited data on interim grant claims for 2003–04.[142826]

Keith Hill

Following publication of the rules of the scheme, authorities would have to write in to the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister specifying how much they wished to transfer between the Housing Revenue Account (HRA) and General Fund in 2004–05. So long as this amount fell within the maximum amount permissible to them under the rules of the scheme, a direction would be issued to that effect. An authority would be able to apply for a direction for 2004–05 at any time before the accounts for that year were closed.

The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister is consulting at present on proposals for the transitional protection scheme. Details of the proposed maximum amount transferable based on the audited figures for 2001–02 have been provided at an individual authority level with the current consultation on the draft HRA Subsidy Determination 2004–05. The closing date for consultation is 16 December 2003. The Office intends to issue the final rules of the scheme, including confirmed maximum amounts transferable by each authority in 2004–05, before 1 January 2004.