§ Mr. Geoffrey Finsberg
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will take steps to amend the regulations governing the right of ratepayers to pay their rates by instalments in those cases where rate demand notices have not been sent out due to the industrial action of NALGO and ratepayers wishing to claim such rights for the first time would be out of time as a result.
§ Mr. Oakes
No. The conditions governing the right to pay by instalments are laid down in the General Rate Act 1967 and cannot be altered except by primary legislation. I am, however, sure 239W that rating authorities in London will use sympathetically their discretion to grant instalment facilities within the existing legislation.