HC Deb 01 May 1923 vol 163 c1170
45. Mr. T. THOMSON

asked the Prime Minister, in view of the considerable assistance which will be given to ratepayers in rural districts by the Government grant of £2,750,000 to make good the deficiency caused by the reduced rating on agricultural land, what equivalent assistance he proposes to give to ratepayers in urban districts where the assistance given by the reduced rating on agricultural land in their areas is infinitesimal when compared with the total heavy burden of their rates?


I have been asked to reply on behalf of the Minister of Health. The proposal that the Exchequer should make good the deficiency arising from the reduced rating of agricultural land, both in urban and in rural districts, does not seem to constitute a ground for making a special grant to urban districts.


May I ask if the Minister had full regard to the fact that, whereas the average rural rates are 11s. in the £, the average urban rates are 15s. and 16s. in the £?


The hon. Member does not seem to realise that there are a good many urban districts which contain more agricultural land than do a good many rural districts.