HC Deb 21 March 1963 vol 674 cc541-2
4. Mr. Webster

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether, following the analysis of the rating problem which he has instituted, he is now in the position to make a statement.

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

I cannot now add to what my right hon. Friend the Minister of Housing and Local Government said on this general subject in answer to Questions on 7th and 18th March.

Mr. Webster

Is my right hon. Friend aware that the gravity of this problem will increase in the next five years and that particularly the educational projections are very relevant to it? For certain sections of the community neither the ability to pay nor the use of the services—I am referring to retired people —is particularly relevant. It is very important that a complete statement should be made.

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

No one underrates the importance of this problem, in respect of which my right hon. Friend the Minister of Housing and Local Government made a fairly lengthy statement on the two very recent dates to which I have referred.

Dr. King

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that people in all political parties recognise that there is a need for expanding social services but are convinced that the present rating system is thoroughly unjust and thoroughly inequitable? Is it not his duty, as one responsible for taxation, to consider whether he cannot make taxation fairer?

Mr. Boyd-Carpenter

In the first place, this is not my duty but that of the Minister of Housing and Local Government, who made the statements to which I have referred.