§ 4. Mr. Prentice
asked the Minister of Housing and Looal Government and Minister for Welsh Affairs whether he will take steps to end the derating of industrial premises.
§ Mr. H. Brooke
I have nothing to add to what I said on this subject in the debate on 25th February.
§ Mr. Prentice
Is there any real reason now why industry should not pay its share? Will the right hon. Gentleman bear in mind the help that this would be to boroughs and other areas with a poor rateable value? I am thinking particularly of my own constituency of West Ham where the product of a penny irate is less than £6,000 and the rate has had to be increased by 2s. 4d. this year 1112 largely as a result of Government financial policies.
§ Mr. Brooke
The position is that hardly anybody is paying rates at present at 100 per cent. of full current value. I explained in the debate that since the last revaluation and the rerating of industry to 50 per cent., industry is now paying nearly three times as great a share of the total rate burden as it paid before the revaluation.
§ Mr. M. Stewart
May we take it that the mind of the Minister is not closed on this matter, and that he does not regard the present 50 per cent. rating as the last word?
§ Mr. Brooke
I certainly do not think there can be any question in the present circumstances of altering the situation.