§ Dr. Cunningham
To ask the Prime Minister if Her Majesty's Government has any proposals to equalise non-domestic rate bills in England, Wales and Scotland; and if she will make a statement.
§ The Prime Minister
Rateable values are presently assessed by the Inland Revenue in England and Wales and by local assessors in Scotland. Despite a similar legislative framework, over the years valuation practice has diverged to some extent. A start has been made on the harmonisation of valuation practice so that business premises will be assessed on a comparable basis throughout Great Britain. It is unlikely, however, that this process will be completed in the 1990 revaluation. Only when the process of harmonisation is subsequently complete will it be appropriate to turn to the question of a uniform non-domestic rate poundage throughout Great Britain.