HC Deb 07 April 1938 vol 334 cc518-9
45. Mr. Ellis Smith

asked the Prime Minister whether his attention has been directed to the concern expressed in industrial parts of the country through the continued increase in rates; will be now appoint a Royal Commission to investigate the unsatisfactory nature of the rating system, the unfair incidence of local taxation, and the anomalous situation created through the effect of the present system of rating; or what other steps does he propose to take to deal with this problem?

The Prime Minister (Mr. Chamberlain)

I would refer the hon. Member to the answer which I gave to him on 17th February last, and to the reply given by my right hon. Friend the Minister of Health to a question put to him on the same date by my hon. and gallant Friend the Member for Epsom (Sir A. Southby).

Mr. Smith

Since that reply was given, has the Prime Minister noticed the concern which has been expressed by finance chairmen of municipalities in the North of England pointing out the difference between the municipal overhead charges in the North of England and the South of England, and will he reconsider the matter and consult the Minister of Health with a view to something being done?

The Prime Minister

The legislation to which my right hon. Friend referred will give him time to look into these questions.

Lieut.-Colonel Acland-Troyte

Is my right hon. Friend aware that there is great uneasiness in regard to rating in rural areas as well as in industrial areas, and will he exercise more economy and see that no unnecessary additional expenditure is forced upon local authorities by Government legislation?

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