§ Mr. FETHERSTONHAUGH
asked the Secretary to the Treasury whether he is aware that, though a revaluation of the city of Dublin is pending, and will be so apparently for some decades, it is being conducted in an unfair and irregular manner, that the valuation of premises occupied by members of the corporation as well as that of all licensed houses awaits the indefinitely postponed revaluation of the city as a whole; is he aware that houses in the Clontarf added area, let at £30 a year, are valued as high as some of the best shops in the city; that licensed houses are valued without any reference to goodwill; and will he supply the com- 1414 missioner with a sufficient staff and urge him to complete the revaluation?
§ Mr. HOBHOUSE
The revaluation lists will, it is expected, be issued to the rating authorities within the next three years. The Corporation of Dublin do not make any selection of premises to be valued, but under the Act 17 Vic, Cap. 8., Sec. 4, every Poor Rate collector is required to furnish lists of all tenements the valuation of which requires revision, and these are forwarded to the Commissioner of Valuation. The valuation of Clontarf is made on the same basis as that of the rest of Dublin, but no doubt there are some old shops in the city the valuations of which have never been altered. The number of these, however, is small. Pending revaluation, the licensed houses are valued on the same basis as those in the other parts of Ireland, except Belfast, where, on the revaluation of the whole rating area, the value of the licence was taken into consideration. The Treasury have given the Commissioner all the staff he has asked for.
§ Mr. FETHERSTONHAUGH
asked the Secretary to the Treasury whether he is aware that a revaluation of the city of Dublin was provided for by the Dublin Corporation Act of 1900, and that, in Committee, Sir John Barton, the Commissioner of Valuation, gave evidence that such revaluation was urgently necessary inasmuch as the city was undervalued, and particularly licensed property, while the areas added to the city by the Act were fully valued; is he aware that the Commissioner stated he could revalue the city in about eighteen months, and that the High Court, several years ago, granted a mandamus directing the revaluation; has the revaluation been opposed and delayed by the influence of the licenced trade; has the Commissioner been provided with an extra staff; if so, how many in number; and will he take steps to ensure that a revaluation ordered ten years ago by Parliament, and urgently necessary, shall be carried out promptly, even if it results in increased rates on public-houses?
§ Mr. HOBHOUSE
The facts are as stated in this question, subject to certain modifications due to altered conditions since Sir John Barton's evidence was given. The fall in value of all classes of property, except shops and manufactories, in the best parts of the city, has had the effect of lessening the discrepancy in the relative values of the different heredita- 1415 ments, as has also the fact that nearly all the best property in the city has now been revalued. In spite of the fall in the rateable value of many classes of property, the total valuation of the city, without the added area, has increased 12½ per cent, during the past ten years. There is no truth in the statement that the work was delayed by the influence of the licensed trade. There are now some twenty valuers and surveyors employed on the revaluation work. A staff of five surveyors and one clerk is constantly employed on it, and in addition a great deal of work is done upon it by the permanent staff in overtime and during the three months when the valuation staff is at the head office. This staff could not be increased except by employing untrained men or English valuers unaccustomed to Irish work, which would be most undesirable.
asked the Secretary to the Treasury if the staff of the Commissioner of Valuation in Ireland have already been making inquiries and valuations in Dublin for the purpose of assessments under the land value clauses in the Budget, 1909–10?