HC Deb 19 February 1948 vol 447 cc1436-8

Every rate made by a rating authority shall be approved by the authority not less than fourteen days before the commencement of the period in respect of which it is made.—[Mr. O. Poole.]

Brought up, and read the First time.

Mr. Oliver Poole (Oswestry)

I beg to move, "That the Clause be read a Second time."

This is quite a simple Clause, the point of which is to remedy the difficulty in which landlords of rent-restricted properties now find themselves, inasmuch as they do not get sufficient notice of an increase in the rate, and so are unable to pass it on to their tenants in time. I agree that in many cases it is not a matter of great importance, but nowadays, when large blocks of property are held by charitable institutions and friendly societies, apart altogether from other business organisations, it has a serious adverse effect.

When this matter was discussed in Committee the Minister saw the point, and said that he would look into it. He then said, and I was prepared to accept the point he made, that he objected to the matter being brought into this Bill as it was, he said, getting into the field of rating as distinct from the field of valuation. Although that may be so, we have in this Bill moved a good deal away from the mere field of valuation. We have this afternoon talked about entertainments and goodness knows what else, and I should have thought we might as well talk about rating as some of the other things which we have discussed. There has been the question, of members of co-operative societies voting on committees, and other matters have been introduced. As in this matter there is an injustice, or rather an anomaly, if the Minister could have seen his way to put it right, this would have been a simple and acceptable way of doing it.

Mr. Turton

I beg to second the Motion.

Mr. Bevan

As I explained in Committee, it is not possible for me to accept this proposition. This is the situation at the moment, and no great hardship has been caused by it. As I explained then, it would cause real difficulty at the quinquennial period, because the local authority will actually be levying rates upon a rating list that would be passing out. In those circumstances I cannot accept the new Clause.

Mr. Poole

I find myself in some difficulty over this matter, because I think that the right hon. Gentleman sees my point and I entirely see his. I do not wish to waste any time discussing this matter. There is a point at issue and we could discuss it for hours, so I will with your permission, Mr. Deputy-Speaker, and the permission of the House, ask leave to withdraw the Motion I hope the right hon. Gentleman, and the Government, will bear that important matter in mind.

Motion and Clause, by leave, withdrawn.