§ Sir J. Duncan
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what steps he proposes to take to relieve hardship caused by increasing rates.
§ Mr. Noble
Scottish local authorities have power to remit rates on the grounds of poverty or inability to pay. The impact of rates on householders is being considered by the Allen Committee and will be a factor in the review of local government finance.
Meanwhile, in parallel with interim measures for Exchequer assistance which are being introduced by my right hon. Friend, the Minister of Housing and Local Government, in the Rating (Interim Relief) Bill published today, I propose to provide temporary assistance to Scottish local authorities. This will take the form of an addition of £1 million to the general grant at the beginning of the next general grant period in 1965. This additional sum will be distributed in the usual way to all town and county councils.