HC Deb 16 December 1970 vol 808 c1344
39. Mr. Montgomery

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will now give a date for the publication of the Green Paper on local government finance.

Mr. Peter Walker

I am hoping to publish the Green Paper in spring, 1971, but I cannot yet give a date.

Mr. Montgomery

Is my right hon. Friend aware of the great dissatisfaction felt by many people with the present rating system because it is unfair, in that it does not take account of a person's ability to pay?

Mr. Walker

The Green Paper will certainly include comments on the present system, and look at all possible alternatives.

Mr. Crosland

is the Minister aware that if people are dissatisfied now with the rating system they will be a great deal more dissatisfied with it next spring when, as a result of his Rate Support Grant Order, most people's rates will go up by an average of 2s. or 2s. 6d. in the £?

Mr. Walker

The right hon. Gentleman will be aware that in the last two years of his Government the total amount to be raised by rates increased substantially faster than it had for many years.