§ 35. Sir N. GRATTAN-DOYLE
asked the Minister of Health whether he has any information as to the average increase of new assessments of colliery undertakings under the Rating and Valuation Act, 1925; and whether the increases are of such a nature as seriously to modify the relief estimated to be given under the de-rating scheme?
§ The PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY to the MINISTRY of HEALTH (Sir Kingsley Wood)
My right hon. Friend has not received any information as to the average increase of new assessments of colliery undertakings under the Rating and Valuation Act, 1925. He would, however, remind my hon. Friend that any general increase in assessments must, unless there is an increase in expenditure, be offset by a fall in the rates in the £. Moreover, any ratepayer aggrieved by the correctness or unfairness of any new assessment under the Act of 1925 is, by it, given a right of objection to the Assessment Committee and a right of appeal to Quarter Sessions. Under the provisions of the Rating and Valuation (Apportionment) Act, 1928, the Revenue Officer has, also, on behalf of the Exchequer (which in this matter has the same interest in a fair assessment as the ratepayer), power to object and appeal if he considers the assessment of any industrial hereditament to be excessive. In these circumstances it is reasonable to assume that the collieries will not in practice be over-valued for purposes of local rates, and that the exemption, under the scheme of the Local Government Bill, of three-quarters of their value from rating, will be of considerable benefit to the industry.
§ Colonel WEDGWOOD
Is it not the usual practice to value colliery undertakings on the actual coal produced, as is done in North Staffordshire, or has the practice been changed?
§ Sir K. WOOD
I should like to see that question on paper. No alteration has been made by the Bill as regards the practice in connection with assessments.
§ Colonel WEDGWOOD
Is not the right hon. Gentleman's answer directed 25 towards any hereditament, and is it not the fact that the assessment of collieries up to now has been on output?