HC Deb 19 May 1914 vol 62 cc1754-5

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether the sum of £2,282,000 at the top of page 8. of the White Paper on the effect of proposed financial changes in the Budget, set down as payment in respect of new Grants in the last four months of the current financial year, is in lieu of or in addition to the proceeds of the assigned revenues and Treasury Grants for those four months under the existing law, or in lieu thereof; how much is this sum in excess of that which under the existing law would have been received by local authorities during that period; and how much is this sum in excess of sums receivable under the existing law, taking into account the abolition of the Agricultural Rates Act?


The Government propose that for this year there shall be provided for distribution to the local authorities a sum exceeding the amount of the existing Exchequer Grants by one-third of the normal annual excess of the new Grants over the old. The sum referred to by my hon. Friend represents the addition to the old Grants which the Government have decided as an interim arrangement shall be male available in respect of the last four months of the current financial year for distribution amongst local authorities as a relief to existing rates. Each authority will receive a sum based upon an estimate of the difference between the amount payable under the old and under the new system of Grants. The distribution must, however, depend upon both the Finance and Revenue Bills becoming law during the present Session. It is not proposed to discontinue the Agricultural Rates Act as suggested in the question. The partial exemption from rating now enjoyed by agricultural land will continue.


When the right hon. Gentleman says the sum will be available for the last four months, will he give any indication when it will be received by the Departments—whether actually in the current year or the following year?


After the 1st of December of the present year.