HC Deb 19 May 1953 vol 515 c1858
25. Mr. Wade

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government to make a statement on the increasing burden of rates and the inequitable distribution of this burden; and how soon he expects to be in a position to take steps to amend the Derating Act, 1929.

Mr. H. Macmillan

I have no statement to make on these large issues. Nor are they, in my view, conveniently dealt with by question and answer.

Mr. Wade

Does the Minister agree that the serious and increasing burden of rates falls particularly heavily on householders and shopkeepers, and would he agree that the conditions which applied to 1929 when the Derating Act was produced are very different from those that exist today?

Mr. Macmillan

Oh, yes. I did not mean that they were not important questions but, I repeat, that I do not think they are easily dealt with by question and answer. There will be a good opportunity on Thursday for a full day's debate on them.

Mr. Glenvil Hall

Is the right hon. Gentleman in a position to say what total would be shifted from one set of shoulders to another if the Derating Act, 1929, were abolished?

Mr. Macmillan

There would be all kinds of corresponding adjustments as between the local taxation and the central grants.

Mr. Hall

I realise that, but could the right hon. Gentleman give us an estimate of how much would be involved?

Mr. Macmillan

Not offhand.