15 June 2022
ATISN 16365: Money generated from Welsh Government Budget 2021-2022
Thank you for your request for information which we received on 28 May 2022 where you asked for:
“disclosure of the quantum of money generated from the WG budget used to compensate ALL 22 Unitary Authorities for Audit year 21/ 22 as calculated and used in the RSG formula. This being specifically generated as a consequence of the student exemption allowed in residential Council TAX as compensation for the loss to Local Revenue Authority of giving 100% exemption due to Student residences living in HMO's for each of 22 Unitary Authorities in Wales.”
We do not hold the specific information you asked for but the information below seeks to provide related relevant information we do hold and to set this in context.
The number of dwellings by local authority which are classed as exempt from council tax because only students reside there, are set out in the statistical publication:
Dwellings exempt from council tax, by local authority and class (number of dwellings) (gov.wales) (columns headed M and N).
You will see that this does not show exactly what you asked for as column N could include students residing alone in flats or houses rather than in houses of multiple occupation.
In terms of “the quantum of money. used to compensate” we do not compensate Local Government for properties subject to exemptions and discounts. The number of dwellings subject to exemptions and discounts (full list is at Council Tax discounts and reduction) does not form part of the consideration of how much to provide for the local government sector through the annual Local Government Settlement in the Welsh Government budget.
The total amount of unhypothecated funding in the local government settlement is distributed between local authorities by means of a formula. This distribution formula takes account of:
- factors which drive need to spend (which includes population including numbers of students in a local authority area) and
- the local tax base i.e. the ability of each local authority to raise income from council tax. This is determined by the number and type of houses within an area and takes account of the numbers of dwellings which are subject to exemptions and discounts. This means the formula does not assume a council is gaining income from such dwellings i.e. in the case of your question, from student only dwellings.
Further detail about the settlement can be found at Local government revenue and capital settlement: final 2022 to 2023
If you are dissatisfied with the Welsh Government’s handling of your request, you can ask for an internal review within 40 working days of the date of this response. Requests for an internal review should be addressed to the Welsh Government’s Freedom of Information Officer at:
Information Rights Unit,
or Email: Freedom.email@example.com
Please remember to quote the ATISN reference number above.
You also have the right to complain to the Information Commissioner. The Information Commissioner can be contacted at: Information Commissioner’s Office,
However, please note that the Commissioner will not normally investigate a complaint until it has been through our own internal review process.