HC Deb 06 November 1962 vol 666 cc776-7
13. Mr. Lipton

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government and Minister for Welsh Affairs when ratepayers will be told what their revised assessments will be in 1963.

Sir K. Joseph

Rating authorities will get the new lists on 21st December and will arrange for them to be open to inspection. Ratepayers will not, of course, know what they have to pay until rating authorities make their rates two or three months later.

Mr. Lipton

Is not this rather unfortunate timing to spoil the Christmas holidays of hundreds of thousands of ratepayers all over the country? May we take it that it is pretty well established that anyone with a rateable value of £36 will have it stepped up to about £96 when the new valuation comes into effect?

Sir K. Joseph

The hon. Gentleman is really seeking to confuse people's minds. What will come out at the end of this year is the revised rating assessments. People cannot take that as indicating in any way any addition to the rates that they have to pay. For that, they must wait until the rate poundage is declared by their local rating authority in about March, 1963.

Mr. Fernyhough

Does the right hon. Gentleman think that he is being fair to local authorities in not giving this information sooner? Does he appreciate how much has to be done between 21st December and the day when they make their rating proposals? Would it not be a good idea, if he cannot make it public sooner, to provide local authorities with the information confidentially, so that they can get on with the work that they have to do?

Sir K. Joseph

On the contrary, I think that the hon. Gentleman, through not entirely knowing the subject administratively, in this way is being unfair to the Valuation Office. There has been a gargantuan task of typing to get the lists ready for local authorities by this date. I fear that I cannot improve upon it.