HC Deb 16 October 1941 vol 374 cc1529-30W
Sir R. Gower

asked the Minister of Health if he will inquire why Salford has refused to approve the recommendations of his Department in favour of allowing a rebate on rates for the period for which a war-damaged house is unfit for occupation?

Mr. Rostron Duckworth

asked the Minister of Health whether for the protection of poor owners of property rendered uninhabitable by enemy action he will inquire from the different local authorities in the areas affected, whether they have given effect to the recommendations in Circular 2215; and whether he will, in all cases of inaction or refusal to follow such recommendations, investigate the reasons?

Mr. E. Brown

As stated in Circular 2215 I have no jurisdiction which would enable me to determine authoritatively questions arising as to liability for rates, and the circular was intended only to draw the attention of rating authorities to the considerations which appear to be relevant to that issue. I have no reason to suppose that rating authorities are not aware of their discretionary power to reduce or remit the payment of rates, in cases where legal liability exists, on the ground of the poverty of the person liable, and, in the circumstances, I do not propose to adopt my hon. Friend's suggestion.