§ Mr. CHARLES BATHURST
asked the President of the Local Government Board whether, in view of the difficulty of gauging accurately the present burden of local taxation in England and Wales owing to the complete Local Taxation Returns not being published for more than two years after the close of the financial year to which they relate, he will take steps to issue such Returns at least a year earlier than their present date of publication, as is done in respect of similar taxation returns for Scotland and Ireland?
§ The PRESIDENT of the LOCAL GOVERNMENT BOARD (Mr. Burns)
It is very desirable that the Local Taxation Returns should be issued at an earlier date. Some ground has recently been gained, and the last complete annual summary appeared two months earlier than its predecessor. It is hoped that the Department will be in a position to have the next complete summary ready considerably earlier. As it is impracticable to complete these Returns in less than eighteen months after the close of the financial year to 1735 which they relate, I am considering whether, apart from the statutory returns, information cannot be obtained from the principal spending authorities shortly after the end of the financial year, for the purpose of the preparation and early publication of a less detailed statement of local finances.