§ Dr. John Cunningham
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment how many representations he has received on behalf of Age Concern and other charities requesting a rates relief scheme for water rates; if he will estimate the cost of such a scheme; and if he will make a statment.
§ Mr. Giles Shaw
In the last six months the Department has received four representations from charities, including one from Age Concern, and 15 representations from Members of both Houses of Parliament.
As a guide, if charities were offered a rebate on charges equivalent to the present 50 per cent. reduction allowed in the relief of general rates, the cost would be in the region of £10 million.
We have no plans to introduce such a scheme, bearing in mind that we are dealing with charges for services rendered and not a form of taxation.