Mr. John D. Taylor
To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland whether he will take steps to ensure that the notice of rate demands in Northern Ireland shows a more detailed breakdown of the application of expenditure on a similar basis as prevails in Great Britain.
§ Mr. Ian Stewart
The information provided with the rates demand note in Northern Ireland is in accordance with that prescribed by the Rates (Northern Ireland) Order 1977. The order, unlike the relevant legislation in Great Britain, does not require the provision of the information referred to on or with the rates demand note. This recognises the essential differences between the local government and rating systems in Northern Ireland and Great Britain, in particular the existence in Northern Ireland of a local district rate and an overall regional rate, both of which are collected together by the Department of the Environment for Northern Ireland. I have no plans to change this legislation.
A free leaflet explaining how the regional rate is struck is available each year from local rating, social security or Housing Executive offices.