§ Mr. Craigen
asked the Prime Minister what representations she has received concerning the rating of Scottish sports clubs and how this compares with the treatment of equivalent premises in England and Wales; and if she will make a statement.
§ The Prime Minister
I have received a small number of such representations in recent months, but a considerably larger number—over 70—have been received by my right hon. and learned Friend the Secretary of State for Scotland. The fact that the valuation and rating systems in Great Britain can lead to differences between clubs in Scotland and England and Wales of the kind mentioned in the representations is one of the reasons why the Government are getting on with the very difficult task of reforming local taxation. We intend to bring into effect as soon as possible our proposals in the Green Paper "Paying for Local Government" (Cmnd. 9714). The paper explains the advantage we see in moving in time to a common non-domestic rate poundages in all areas, and suggests that it may be desirable to harmonise valuation procedures to provide for a common standard. Responses to the Green Paper on its Scottish aspects have been asked for by 31 July. All will be carefully considered. A further announcement of the Government's intentions will be made in due course.