19. Brigadier-General BROWN
asked the Minister of Health whether he requires the compensation to be paid to assistant overseers under the Rating and Valuation Act to be submitted to him for his sanction or leaves it as a charge on the rates that can be assessed by a district council concerned without regard to other similar assessments; and what is the average amount imposed on the rates by rural district councils for compensation to their assistant overseers under this Act?
The assessment of compensation in the circumstances referred to in the question is a matter to be dealt with by the rating authority concerned in accordance with the provisions in the Sixth Schedule to the Rating and Valuation Act, 1925, and does not come before me for decision unless an appeal is made either by the officer affected or by not less than one-third of the members 1433 of the district council concerned. I regret that the information asked for in the last part of the question is not in my possession.
Is my right hon. Friend aware that there is a good deal of dissatisfaction in rural areas by ratepayers at the amount of compensation that some rural district councils are distributing for this purpose, and could he not introduce some system of uniformity?
I have to be guided by the Act in this matter. If any ratepayers are dissatisfied with the action of the local authorities, they have the remedy in their own hands.