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EU Fines and Local Government
CIEH has produced a discussion paper on Part 2 of the Localism Act 2011 which introduces the possibility of fines being passed to local government. It starts ‘ The UK has never had a financial sanction imposed by the EU for an infraction. It might reasonably be inferred from this that local authorities have always played their part in securing the UK’s compliance with EU law. Indeed, even now, no example has been given by the Government of any authority failing to meet their obligation. The new provisions take up 10 sections in the Act. Headed ‘EU Financial Sanctions’ (in a subtle change from the Bill which used the word ‘fines’) they begin with section 48. That sets out a discretionary power for a Minister to require a local authority to pay all, or part of, any sanction imposed on the UK. According to the Policy Statement (to which Ministers must have regard), it’s intended that the discretionary power will be exercised where an authority has ‘demonstrably caused or contributed to’ the imposition of a financial sanction. The paper then goes on to discuss the implications for local authorities.
The document can be found on RIAMS in the resources sub-category of the Administration module.