HC Deb 23 June 1971 vol 819 cc1414-5
24. Mr. Eadie

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will investigate the disparities that have taken place in domestic rating as between one area and another as a result of the quinquennial review.

Mr. Younger

The valuations determined by the assessors can be appealed against and the final level of valuations will not be known until all such appeals are disposed of.

Mr. Eadie

Is the hon. Gentleman not aware that he has some responsibility in this matter since the method of quinquennial review is based on an Act of Parliament? Is he unaware of the fact that for a considerable time in the columns of the Press and various local government publications there have been widespread protests by domestic ratepayers against the high levels of rateable value and the valuations being proposed at present? Is there not a strong case for inquiry since he has given the impression that the people of Scotland would always be consulted by the Government?

Mr. Younger

The hon. Gentleman must know that the system of rating and quinquennial review depends on the opinions of the assessment officer in each area as to what is the correct rateable value of a particular house. This is subject to the normal process of appeal and at this stage, when many of these matters are under appeal, I cannot comment on any differences there may be between one area and another. The hon. Member's point is valid, but it is not a matter on which I have power to intervene in regard to any Statute which lays down the rules.