HC Deb 31 May 1945 vol 411 cc345-6
24. Mr. Raikes

asked the Minister of Health if he is aware that his decision to withhold further financial assistance from the Canvey Island Urban District Council means an increase in the rates of 6s. in the £, making a total rate of 23s. 6d. in the £ and entails the dismissal of 25 per cent. of the existing council staff; is he satisfied that his action is in accordance with the Government pledges to assist districts affected financially by the war; and will he reconsider his decision.

Mr. Willink

The estimates originally submitted to my Department showed that it would be necessary for the council to levy a rate of 21s. 1d. in 1945–46, but I understand that the council have recently revised those estimates to provide for expenditure which will involve a total rate of 22s. 6d. The increase attributable to loss of productivity of rates is only about 3d. in the £ and this is insufficient to justify an offer of special financial assistance from the Exchequer.

Mr. Raikes

Is the right hon. and learned Gentleman aware that Canvey Island suffered considerably financially during the war through being a prohibited area, and that as a result of that, the financial position in Canvey is very serious; and is he further aware that the ratepayers in Canvey, especially the lower middle class type, are very poor?

Mr. Willink

I gather that my hon. Friend is challenging the statement that the increase due to loss of rate productivity is only 3d. in the £.

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