33. Mr. W. H. K. Baker
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what proposals he has for amending the Local Government (Scotland) Act, 1966.
§ Dr. Dickson Mabon
If the hon. Member has in mind the formula for distributing the rate support grants, this is at present under consideration by a working party which includes local authority representatives. Any alterations would be effected by the next Rate Support Grant (Scotland) Order later this year.
May I inform the hon. Gentleman that the hon. Member for Banff did not have that point in mind? Is he aware that the Scottish Development Department has sent a circular to local authorities advising them not to rate unoccupied properties because the owners are pulling them down? Would he not have been better advised to listen to the Opposition's Amendment to exclude unoccupied properties from the rating proposals of the new legislation?