HC Deb 16 May 1968 vol 764 c1371
1. Mr. Costain

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department why Home Office Circular No. 88/1968, advising local authorities of revisions of fees on 1st April, 1968, was not sent so as to arrive before 28th March, 1968.

The Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department (Mr. David Ennals)

I would refer the hon. Member to the Answer given to a Question by the hon. Member for Somerset, North (Mr. Dean) on 6th May.—[Vol. 764, c. 25.]

Mr. Costain

Does the Minister realise that local authorities had sent out for and collected fees at the old rate before the circular arrived, and that 49 of these fees have risen by between 100 and 2,000 per cent.? Does it not make it difficult to collect the new fees and is it not costing local authorities a lot of money through the negligence of his Department?

Mr. Ennals

I have already expressed apologies on behalf of the Department. The initial reason why it was not sent out immediately was that there had been a whole series of Parliamentary Questions tabled on the Orders, and also a Prayer.