- 24 Jan 2019
Attendees and apologies
- Marianne Barker, Scottish Government
- Ian Storrie, Scottish Government
- Eileen Rowand, Directors of Finance/ CoSLA
- Stuart Mackinnon, FSB
- David Magor, IRRV (UK)
- Brian Rogan, Scottish Chambers of Commerce
- Ken McCormack, RICS/ RSA
- Jonathan Sharma, CoSLA
- Graeme McLean, SRC
- Ian Milton, SAA
- Graeme Strachan, SAA
- Mari Tunby, CBI
- Moira Walker, SPF
- Kevin Fraser, IRRV Scotland (practitioners)
Items and actions
Note of key points made in discussion
1. The Group agreed the note of the previous meeting.
2. The Group received feedback from the Appeals sub-group meeting on 13 March 2018. Some attendees noted they were against the principle of fees set out in Paragraph 4.92 o) of the Barclay Review.
3. The Group were advised that the first meeting of the Billing sub-group will take place on 28 March 2018. The sub-group should ensure the outcome of their deliberations is ambitious enough and takes account of the financial and software implications.
The Group discussed the prioritisation of the Barclay recommendations
4. The Group agreed that recommendations 17, 11, 10 and 23 will be taken forward administratively by Scottish Government engaging with members as appropriate but without formal oversight from the Group.
5. It was agreed that recommendation 17 could be delivered quickly whilst acknowledging that a future legislative solution may be needed as a fall back.
6. Evaluation of recommendation 11 should be considered at the outset to future proof the system. The Group was advised of illustrative examples of equivalent products operating in England on a ‘no win, no fee’ basis. The Group asked if recommendation 11 should consider Council Tax.
7. The Group discussed the Data Protection issues associated with recommendation 10. The Group were advised at least 2 Councils already publish this data. In line with Parliamentary expectations, any data resulting from this recommendation should be available nationally and be searchable.
8. The Group agreed that recommendations 8 and 9 are key improvements but are secondary in terms of priority. The Group discussed whether recommendation 9 would benefit from additional investment in IT infrastructure.
9. The Group discussed the need for primary legislation to deliver recommendations 2, 5b, 16, 18, 20, 21, 25, 26 and 27, some of which were outwith the Groups original remit. It is anticipated that primary legislation will be introduced during the 2018-19 parliamentary session.
10. The Group discussed possible options for consultation ahead of any primary legislation.
11. The Group asked whether Revenue Scotland’s existing General Anti-Avoidance Rule would provide a model for recommendation 20.
12. The Group discussed the opportunities and risks associated with recommendation 5b. The Group agreed that safeguards, such as those in the Community Empowerment (Scotland) Act, should be in place for the pilots.
- The Draft prioritisation of recommendations will be recirculated ahead of the next meeting. Where possible, an updated timeline for the implementation of the Barclay Review recommendations will also be provided
- The Group would like to see a draft of any letter generated to address recommendation 17
- Directors of Finance will explore the issue of NDR credit balances remaining with councils rather than being processed back to bill payers and report back
- Scottish Government should speak to IRRV Scotland regarding recommendation 23
- Agenda items for future meetings should focus on individual recommendations
- The next Group meeting will take place in around four to six weeks