§ Mr. Worthington
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland when he expects to introduce a unified business rate in Scotland.
§ Mr. Andrew Welsh
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland when the proposed business rate will take effect in Scotland; and when the Scottish business rate will be brought to the same level as in England.
§ Mr. Lang
The introduction of a uniform business rate applying throughout Great Britain cannot be considered until non-domestic property north and south of the border is valued for rating purposes on a comparable basis. The process of harmonising valuation practice is under way but is unlikely to be completed until after the 1990 revaluation. On the question of a separate uniform business rate for Scotland, I refer the hon. Member for Clydebank and Milngavie (Mr. Worthington) to my reply to his question on 17 December at column643.