HC Deb 21 February 1990 vol 167 c927
17. Mr. Fearn

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will make a statement on the valuation assessments of homes which form part of, or house, commercial undertakings, both part time and full time.

Mr. Chope

The basis of valuation of composite hereditaments under the new non-domestic rating system is set out in schedule 6 to the Local Government Finance Act 1988. The rateable value is derived from the open market rent obtainable for that part of the property used for non-domestic purposes. The domestic accommodation is not valued.

Mr. Fearn

Is the Minister aware that hotel and boarding house proprietors are concerned about their assessment because they will be paying not only the poll tax but the business tax? Is he aware that that is bound to affect tourism, especially in the north-west of England and particularly in my home town of Southport?

Mr. Chope

I cannot understand the hon. Gentleman's logic. In his part of the world, in Sefton, business rates on average will fall by about 20 per cent. as a result of the new system. In his constituency, each individual adult will have to pay a community charge. What is unfair about that? It is reasonable that every adult—guest house proprietors and others—should pay some contribution towards the cost of running local government services.

Mr. Nicholas Bennett

Is not it strange for a Liberal Member to complain about valuation when it has long been Liberal policy to have capital valuation and a local income tax? Does my hon. Friend agree that the hon. Member for Southport (Mr. Fearn) would have the worst of both worlds if we adopted Liberal policy?

Mr. Chope

I understand my hon. Friend's point, although I think that it is Liberal party policy to have just a local income tax. If there were just that tax in Southport, the bill for a single adult on average earnings would probably be about £600.