HC Deb 14 January 1988 vol 125 cc354-5W
Mr. Battle

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what estimate he has of the proportion of households in England which will be liable to pay above average community charge which are households with below average incomes.

Mr. Howard

In order for a community charge to be larger than the average of £224, local authorities in that area would have to be spending at least £47 per adult more than the estimated cost of a standard level of service. I estimate that in England 16 per cent. of households have below average incomes and live in such areas. Many of that 16 per cent. may be entitled to a rebate. This estimate is necessarily subject to a margin of error.

Mr. Anderson

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what are the implications of the proposed community charge for premises in enterprise zones.

Mr. Howard

Non-domestic property in enterprise zones will continue to be exempt from rates during the life of the zone. We propose to provide for a special method of valuing properties in enterprise zones, so that, when the zone comes to an end, rateable values will discount any element of rent payments which reflect the benefit of the rates holiday.

Individuals living in enterprise zones presently pay domestic rates and will be liable for the community charge in the same way as everyone else.

Mr. Rooker

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will set out the detailed calculations for each local authority showing the assumptions about numbers of poll tax payers whose incomes will lead to payment of rebates, which led him to give a figure of £1,500 million for payment of rebates in his speech of 16 December 1987, Official Report, column 1117.

Mr. Howard

[holding answer 11 January 1988]: I refer the hon. Member to my reply to my right hon. Friend the Member for Aylesbury (Mr. Raison) on 8 December at columns 98–99, for the basis on which my right hon. Friend made his estimate of a total rebate cost of £1,500 million.

It is not possible to make such estimates for individual local authorities since information about incomes at this level is available on a sample basis which is not adequate to make estimates at local level.