HC Deb 10 October 1912 vol 42 cc522-3
66. Mr. W. THORNE

asked whether, in view of the fact that the Local Government Board, having chosen to abate or pay short the usual equivalent of the 4d. rate from the Local Taxation Account in respect of London, Middlesex, or other districts, the said account having become, as regards the districts in question, in sufficient to meet all the various claims upon it, though quite sufficient to meet the full police claim, by what authority, statutory, legal, or other, were police war rants issued on certain local authorities of the Metropolitan Police area for sums in excess of what would have been required of them if partiality had not been shown to London, Middlesex, Croydon, or other authorities by a bating or paying short into the Police Fund the sums due from the Local Taxation Accounts in respect of these latter authorities?


The income of the Exchequer Contribution Accounts of London and Middlesex has for the last two years been insufficient to meet in full the statutory charges on these accounts, and the Law Officers of the Crown have advised that the loss must fall proportionately on the several claims, and that no preference can be given to the police claim. The Local Government Board have no discretion in the matter, and no alteration in the arrangements can be made except by legislation. The police rate is a different matter. It is raised under statutory power by precepts on the several boroughs and parishes in the Metropolitan Police district in proportion to their rateable values. There is no power to allow any abatement or to give any preference.

67. Mr. W. THORNE

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether the system of levying the police rate by which the poor districts are made to pay for the rich is in accordance with the Statutes regulating the maintenance of the Metropolitan Police force, which imply that the charge upon the districts within the Metropolitan Police district should be equally and fairly distributed in proportion to the rate able value; and whether, under these circumstances, the receiver for the Metropolitan Police district proposes to recover by distraint under warrant of the Commissioner of Police any balance representing the amount of the excessive charge which any or all of the aggrieved districts might withhold?


As I have just said, the police rate has by Statute to be levied on all boroughs and parishes in the Metropolitan Police district in proportion to their rateable values. It must be levied equally throughout the district, and there is no power to make any abatement. If any borough or parish fails to pay in full, I have no choice but to authorise the Commissioner to take the statutory procedure to recover the balance.