HC Deb 03 March 1921 vol 138 cc2000-1

asked the Prime Minister whether he will appoint a Select Committee to examine and report upon the great inequalities of the incidence of local rates, with power to make such recommendations as may seem desirable in the basis, method of assessment, and collection of local taxation as well as the reallocation of rating areas?


I am not prepared to adopt my hon. Friend's suggestion. The Government are fully alive to the importance of this matter and are giving full consideration to it.


Will the right hon. Gentleman in giving consideration to this matter take into account that the last Royal Commission on this subject is 20 years old and that local authorities are getting more and more restive now owing to the gross inequalities of rates and rateable value in the various areas, and in view of the tremendous rise in rates this year it is really a very urgent question from the point of view of local authorities generally?


I agree it is a very urgent question, and when I was Chancellor of the Exchequer there was a Debate on the Address on it and two or three Debates in the course of the Session. But I think the hon. Member is wrong in saying that was the last enquiry. I appointed a Select Committee I think it was—a very able body of men. That could not have been 20 years ago. I agree that it has always been urgent, and it is much more urgent now becuse of the very heavy burden of the rates.