MPs recommend increase in data sharing

A group of MPs has recommended that the government improves inter-agency data-sharing to increase council tax benefit take-up.

A group of MPs has recommended that the government improves inter-agency data-sharing to increase council tax benefit take-up.

The Select Committee on Communities and Local Government Committee published a report on Tuesday that said, "One of the common concerns raised about council tax is that is does not take sufficient account of a household's income.

"Perceptions of the legitimacy of council tax are more likely to be undermined if there is not an effective mechanism in place to alleviate the financial burden it places on low-income households."

The MPs said more data should be shared between the Pension Service, HM Revenue & Customs and local authorities. Take-up of the benefit for pensioners would improve, they argued, if the Pension Service were able to send automatic information to local authorities who could use it to target take-up efforts more effectively.

HMRC data could be used to provide local authorities with information on those on low incomes. They recommend the government accelerates its effort to promote inter-agency data-sharing to help local authorities work out who is eligible.

Comment on this article: computer.weekly@rbi.co.uk

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