§ Mr. Atkinson
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will bring forward proposals to allow for the reduction of personal community charges on environmental grounds along the lines of the present arrangements for reduction in rateable values.
§ Mr. Chope
The reductions in rateable values to which my hon. Friend refers are an automatic concomitant of a system which links payment for local services to the rental value of property. Most local authority services, such as 323W education, public transport and social services are people-related rather than property-related, and the cost of providing those services is not affected by environmental factors. There is therefore no logical reason for varying the community charge to reflect such factors.
§ Mrs. Peacock
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment whether each occupant of a household's application for a rebate on the personal community charge will be assessed of their own personal income and savings; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mrs. Gillian Shephard
I have been asked to reply.
The assessment of community charge benefit will be based on the personal and financial circumstances (both income and capital) of the claimant and any partner. The personal and financial circumstances of adults in the household, other than any partner of the claimant, are immaterial to the assessment of the claimant's community charge benefit.