§ 29 and 30. Mr. LONGBOTTOM
asked the Minister of Health (1) whether workshops on the premises of bespoke tailors will be entitled to the 75 per cent. rate relief under the provisions of the Local Government Bill;
(2) whether factories or workshops situate apart from retail shops, but used solely for the purpose of making garments which are sold by the owner of the factory or workshop through their own retail shops will be entitled to the 75 per cent. rate relief under the provisions of the Local Government Bill?
Premises which fall within the definition of industrial hereditament in the Rating and Valuation (Apportionment) Act will be entitled to 2175 rate relief so far as they are used for industrial purposes. Whether any particular premises are eligible to be so classified is a question to be decided on the facts of the case. The decision is a matter for the local assessment authorities and the revenue officer and is not one in which I am empowered to intervene.
§ Mr. LONGBOTTOM
Does not the Minister of Health realise that the de-rating scheme operates most unfairly as between the small trader who has the producing part of his business over his retail shop and the trader who can keep it at a distance and away from his retail shop?
That question was debated at some length, and the House decided to pass the Bill in its present form.
§ Mr. A. V. ALEXANDER
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that a leading counsel on rating matters has written a book on the 1928 Act upon which local officers seem to be basing their practice, and that in consequence there is likely to be a great deal more litigation than the right hon. Gentleman contemplated when the Bill was going through the House?
When the hon. Member suggests that there will be more litigation as the direct consequence of this eminent counsel having written a book, it is not a matter over which I have any control.
Dr. VERNON DAVIES
May I ask whether the Department has power to enforce the same decisions throughout the whole country, or will each assessment committee decide for itself?
The Ministry of Health has no power to decide questions which come before an assessment committee.
§ Mr. LONGBOTTOM
Will the right hon. Gentleman consider the advisability of making an order giving local authorities an opportunity of dealing with cases like this?