§ Mr. David Atkinson
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what arrangements are envisaged for churches and charities under the proposed reform of local government finance.
§ Mr. Howard
So far as non-domestic properties are concerned the existing exemptions and reliefs from rating will continue broadly unamended. This will apply to properties such as churches and other places of public worship, church halls, sheltered workshops and charity shops. Institutions, such as convent schools, will be apportioned as between non-domestic and domestic parts. Existing reliefs will he availble in respect of the non-domestic parts.
Those individuals who live in properties owned by churches or charities will be treated in the same way as all other individuals, that is those under 18—or over 18 and in full-time schooling—will not be liable for the community charge, nor will patients resident in hospitals, homes for the elderly and other similar caring institutions. Students will pay 20 per cent. of the community charge. Those on low incomes will be eligible for rebates of up to 80 per cent. of the community charge. Benefit entitlements will be increased to assist those on the lowest incomes in paying the 20 per cent. contribution.