HC Deb 25 October 1955 vol 545 cc6-7
13. Mr. Wade

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government what steps, in view of the increase in the burden of rates which is likely to fall on the occupiers of shops and offices when the new valuation lists come into force in 1956, he will take to minimise the loss which local authorities suffer from the derating of industrial premises, the consequence of which is to throw an added burden on to the occupiers of other premises including, in particular, occupiers of shops and offices.

20. Mr. Sydney Irving

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government if he will now repeal Section 68 of the Local Government Act, 1929, in so far as it relates to derating.

Mr. Sandys

This is the Question to which I referred the hon. Member for Newcastle-upon-Tyne, East (Mr. Blenkinsop) earlier.

I have nothing to add to the statement I made on this subject on 30th June last, of which I am sending copies to the hon. Members.

Mr. Wade

In view of the fact that certain local authorities have been receiving no compensation for loss resulting from derating, and as the occupiers of shops and offices are likely to be adversely affected by the new assessments, and are particularly concerned about this matter, can the Minister give any assurance that, pending the abolition of derating, grants will be made to local authorities to compensate them for the loss which they will suffer from derating?

Mr. Sandys

As I explained to the House on an earlier occasion, the Government have decided to undertake a full review of local government finances as a whole as part of the problem of local government reorganisation and reform. I have given this assurance before and I will repeat it now. All aspects of local government finance will come within the purview of this examination, including, of course, the question of the derating of industry. Pending the outcome of that review, I should not like to prejudge the issue.

Mr. Mitchison

Are we to understand that the Minister's forthcoming statement will omit this urgent piece of unfairness—unfairness both to house occupants and to shop occupants? I refer to the statement that he told us he would quite likely make about rating.

Mr. Sandys

I am not aware of this statement that I am going to make.

Mr. Mitchison

May I remind the right hon. Gentleman—[HON. MEMBERS: "No."]—who seems to have an uncommonly short memory, that that was in reply to Question No 7?

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