§ 24. Mr. Stephen Ross
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment when he expects that his review of the future of the rating system will be completed.
§ Mr. Ross
I apologise for not being here earlier. I suspect that the Minister did not give the answer that I require. When he considers changing the rating system, will he attach greater priority to representations from chambers of commerce and give some relief to hard-pressed commercial and industrial ratepayers, who should have greater priority than domestic ratepayers?
§ Mr. Kaufman
May we have a guarantee that in any review of existing arrangements expenditure of money transferred from housing revenue account to general rate fund will not be treated as surplus to target?
On a point or order, Mr. Speaker. I should like your guidance about who decides that one question should be taken with another. I understand that it is customary for a Minister to inform hon. Members if he intends to answer two questions together. The Department of the Environment failed to inform me that my question was to be taken with another today. My hon. Friends have experienced the same thing in the past few weeks.
§ Mr. Heseltine
Further to that point of order, Mr. Speaker. Our practice is to inform hon. Members. If there has been a failure to do that I shall investigate immediately.