§ Mr. Austin Mitchell
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) what would be the cost to the Exchequer if the payment of rates on council houses were excused and the local authorities were reimbursed their loss from the Exchequer;
(2) what would be the cost to the Exchequer if the payment of rates by manufacturing industry were excused and the local authorities were reimbursed for their loss by the Exchequer.
§ Mr. Giles Shaw
The total cost of derating manufacturing industry in England and Wales would have been about £1.25 billion in 1982–83.
Comprehensive information distinguishing the rateable values of local authority housing is not collected centrally. On the basis of sample survey data, we estimate that the total cost of exempting council houses from rates would have been something between £1 billion and £1.5 billion in 1982–83. A significant proportion of this cost is already met by the Exchequer through rate rebates or supplementary benefit, as appropriate.