HC Deb 21 December 1955 vol 547 cc343-4W
Mr. Page

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government to make a statement about the new valuation lists recently sent to rating authorities; and what statistics he proposes to publish showing the increases in rateable values.

Mr. Sandys

The new valuation lists have now been deposited in many areas and the remaining lists will be in the hands of rating authorities not later than 31st December. The lists will be open to inspection by ratepayers at times announced by the rating authorities. The new assessments will come into force on 1st April next, after which proposals for amending them may be made.

As soon as all the valuation lists have been sent to the rating authorities, I shall issue a statement of the total rateable value for England and Wales, and the totals for each county, county borough and metropolitan borough. At a later stage, when the necessary statistical analyses have been completed, I propose to publish a White Paper giving comparative tables of rateable values in the new lists as deposited and in the current lists as at 1st December, 1955. The tables will give, for each county, county borough, and metropolitan borough, separate totals for the following classes of property: houses and flats; shops; other commercial and miscellaneous premises; Crown property; industrial hereditaments, apportioned between industrial and non-industrial purposes; and freight-transport hereditaments, apportioned between transport purposes and non-transport purposes.

I should like to take this opportunity to emphasise that an increase in the rateable value of a district will normally result in a reduction of the rate in the pound and will not therefore necessarily imply an increase in the amount payable. Individual ratepayers or group of ratepayers will consequently not be able to judge how the new valuation lists will affect them until the rates in the pound are announced by the rating authorities about the beginning of April. A leaflet containing further information will be available at the places where the lists are open to inspection.