HC Deb 26 June 1956 vol 555 cc246-7
34. Lieut.-Colonel Cordeaux

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government whether he will consider, as a temporary measure, an appropriate percentage derating of shops and other commercial premises to ease the inequitable burden imposed on them by the recent revaluation.

Mr. Sandys

No, Sir. I do not think it would be a good thing to take piecemeal action in advance of the completion of our general review of local government finance.

Lieut.-Colonel Cordeaux

That may take a long time. Does my right hon. Friend realise that in Nottingham, which may be considered a typical example, the average increase in the rateable value of shops is six times as great as in the case of dwelling houses, and that for dwelling houses with shop accommodation it is three times as great? Does he think it is right that thousands of small shopkeepers should be treated so unfairly compared with other ratepayers for at least four years?

Mr. Sandys

As I have explained, the review is already well advanced. We hope to be in a position to discuss precise proposals with local authority associations in the autumn, and we hope to be able to announce our general conclusions on the policy as soon as possible after that.

Mr. Mitchison

Is the White Paper which the right hon. Gentleman promised to include finance as well as re-organisation?

Mr. Sandys

No, it has always been made quite clear that the two subjects are being reviewed separately. The White Paper to which I referred was that on local government organisation as distinct from finance.