HC Deb 08 February 1966 vol 724 cc199-201
40. Mr. Rose

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government when he proposes to initiate legislation with a view to a fundamental change in the rating system.

49. Mr. Park

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government whether

The Joint Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Housing and Local Government (Mr. Robert Mellish)

With permission I will circulate the information in the OFFICIAL REPORT.

Statistics of industrialised building relate only to dwellings built by local authorities and new town corporations and for these only since the beginning of 1964. Very few, if any, houses have been built by industrialised methods by other agencies.

Mr. Urwin

I thank my hon. Friend for that reply, but would he accept the fact that Cmnd. 2206, issued by the last Administration, though very belatedly, established a target requiring a 38 per cent. increase in housing in the Northern Region? Without planning requirements being carried out, can my hon. Friend say how soon it will be before even this modest target is reached?

Mr. Mellish

With industrialised system building, whatever has happened in the past we can say that the prospects for the future are extremely good, because in the public sector, for which we have a great deal of responsibility, we are very much hoping that the figures will show an increase from 18 per cent. of the total last year to 25 per cent. or 28 per cent. this year.

Following is the information:

he will now introduce legislation to replace the rating system by a more equitable method of local government finance.

The Minister of Housing and Local Government (Mr. Richard Crossman)

I would refer my hon. Friends to my reply on 2nd February to a Question by the hon. Member for Manchester, Ardwick (Mr. L. M. Lever).

Mr. Rose

I appreciate that reply, but would my right hon. Friend bear in mind the enormous burden of rates that falls on families this year, in particular? Would he take action in the matter of priority so as at least to transfer some of the burden from the rates to the Exchequer?

Mr. Crossman

As my hon. Friend knows, we are certainly concerned about this matter. We are now preparing our second rating Measure, which will be presented to the House in a relatively short time.