HC Deb 24 January 1929 vol 224 cc317-21

asked the Minister of Health what is the estimated rate which the London County Council will be called upon to levy for Poor Law purposes during the first five years of the de-rating scheme; what is the estimated rate for these county Poor Law-purposes which will fall upon such boroughs as Stepney, Bermondsey, South-wark, Bethnal Green and Poplar after the contributions to the pool for assisting richer boroughs has been paid; and the estimated county poor rate which will fall upon the City of London, the City of Westminster, and the Metropolitan boroughs of Kensington, Chelsea and Holborn?


As the answer contains a table of figures with explanations, I will, with the hon. Member's permission, circulate it in the OFFICIAL REPORT.


Is it a fact that the poorer authorities coming under the new scheme of Poor Law administration in London will have to pay for 19 years double the cost to the richer boroughs for the county Poor Law services?


No. that is not so.


If the right hon. Gentleman has the table there, will he very kindly tell US what the figures really are, as it is a matter of some public importance?


It is a very long table, and I hardly think it would be fair to the House to give the whole of the figures now.


I will take an opportunity of reading it to the House, so that they may know the injustice of the arrangement.


Is there anything in that table to show, as between the richer and the poorer boroughs, whether it is not a fact that the poorer boroughs as a whole lose much more heavily by de-rating than the richer boroughs and to suggest that the equalisation of the rates made for Poor Law purposes tends to be nullified by the loss of rates?


I think the poorer boroughs will have every reason to be thankful for the arrangement made.


Will the right hon. Gentleman give us the figures for Battersea?


Seeing that the heavy de-rating of the poorer boroughs will mean that the loss as regards the penny-rate is proportionately larger in the poorer boroughs than in the richer boroughs, and, if the assumptions on which the right hon. Gentleman made his answer do not work out, will not the poorer boroughs be worse off because they lose more by de-rating?


The scheme and the results of the scheme must be taken as a whole, and as a whole it will be found that the poorer boroughs stand to gain very materially.


Is it not a fact that under the financial arrangement made between the right hon. Gentleman and West Ham the poor rate will go up at least 6s. in the £?

City or borough. Year 1926–27.
Rate actually levied. Rate which it is estimated would have been levied if scheme, had been in operation after allowing for receipt of Supplementary Exchequer Grant.
1. 2. 3
s. d. s. d.
Stepney (Averages) 19 0 16 8
Bermondsey 18 7 16 9
Christchurch 15 8 13 11
Newington 15 2 13 7
St. George 16 0 14 2
St. Saviour 15 8 13 9
Bethnal Green 22 0 18 5
Poplar 25 0 21 0
London (City) 9 2 9 2
Westminster (City) 9 6 9 6
Kensington 10 1 10 1
Chelsea 10 6 10 6
Furnivals Inn 9 11 9 11
Grays Inn 9 3 9 3
Lincolns Inn 10 0 10 0
Saffron Hill 10 0 10 0
St. Andrew 9 11 9 11
St. Giles and St. George 10 1 10 1
Staple Inn 10 1 10 1

It will be understood that the estimates given above relate to the year 1926–27 and will be subject to revision when the amounts of rate-borne expenditure of the standard year 1928–29 have been ascertained

Following is the answer:

The sums required to meet the precepts of the county council would, under the scheme provided for in the Local Government Bill, be payable by each of the rating authorities in the county out of a fund for the rating area into which would be payable not only the sums collected from the ratepayers of the area but the rating authority's share of the new block grant. In these circumstances it would be misleading to give figures which would suggest that the whole of the moneys required to meet those precepts in any area would be provided out of rates raised within the area. The true comparison is between the total poundage of all the rates (county and borough) levied in each area. This comparison is made in the following table for each of the cities and boroughs mentioned in the question according to estimates made by my Department, for the year 1926–27.

and certified and the valuations in force on the appointed day (1st October, 1929) as apportioned under the Eating and Valuation (Apportionment) Act, 1928, have been settled.

As nearly as can at present be estimated the poundages of the rates levied in the year 1928–29 were lower on the average by about 7½d. than in the year 1926–27. This reduction is attributable mainly to a decrease in the amounts in the pound of the rates levied to meet the precepts of Poor Law authorities. In view of these reductions (which vary considerably in amount in the different boroughs), calculations made on the basis of the figures for the standard year would show, generally, amounts appreciably lower than those entered in the final column above.


asked the Minister of Health what additional rate in the £ will fall upon the poorer boroughs of London during the longer period of years as a result of his suggested amendments to Clause 76, Subsection (1), of the Local Government Bill, which extends the period from 15 to 19 years, and Sub-section (1) (6) of the same Clause, which extends the years from one to five years?


Under the proposed Amendments mentioned by the hon. Member, any borough in London which, in accordance with the provisions of the Fifth Schedule to the Local Government Bill, is estimated to have gained as a result of the scheme, would be called upon to contribute part of its gains towards reducing the losses of the losing boroughs for a period of 19 years, instead of 15 years as proposed in the Bill, and, for the first five years of this period, the contribution would be at the amount which, under the proposals in the Bill, would have been contributed in the first year only. The total extra contribution from any gaining borough under the Amendment for the whole period of 19 years is accordingly four times the contribution of that borough for the first year. The actual sum, and its equivalent as a rate in the £, cannot be stated with any precision until it has become possible to calculate the amount of the, supplementary Exchequer grant on the basis of the rate-borne expenditure of the standard year 1928–29 and the values in force on the 1st October, 1929, as apportioned under the Rating and Valuation (Apportionment) Act, 1928.

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