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Local Government Act 2003

Sections 9 to 11: Capital receipts

24.Capital receipts are defined in section 9 broadly as now – i.e. as the proceeds of property sales. However, such sums will be treated as received when they become payable to the authority, rather than, as now, when actually paid. This change is simply part of the general approach of bringing definitions in line with accounting practice (see note below on sections 21 and 22) and will have no practical implications. There is power to vary this definition by regulations (section 9(3)) and it is likely that the repayment of certain loans made for capital expenditure will be, as now, defined as capital receipts.

25.The present rules requiring part of housing capital receipts to be ‘set aside’ for debt redemption will disappear. These will be replaced by new arrangements, including ‘pooling’ of a proportion of housing receipts (section 11(2)(b)), so that spending power can be redistributed to those authorities in areas with a greater need for new housing investment. This will apply to all sales proceeds obtained in cash; and to most non-money proceeds (section 10) (but disposals in return for housing nomination rights will be exempted). The pooling power will apply only to housing receipts and only to those which are obtained after the legislation comes into force.

26.Section 11 provides power to make regulations about the use of other capital receipts – that is, all non-housing receipts and any housing receipts which are not pooled. The intention is to ensure that such receipts will, as now, be usable only for new capital spending or for the repayment of debt.

27.The treatment of amounts already ‘set-aside’ under the present system will be specified in regulations made under section 21. The repeal of the current set-aside regime will not in itself create access to any additional resources for authorities. However, the set-aside rules were relaxed for debt-free authorities, giving them extra scope for capital expenditure; and a debt-free authority with unused spending capacity of that kind will still be permitted to spend those sums when the new system starts.

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