HC Deb 27 October 1989 vol 158 cc660-1W
Mr. Barry Field

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will set out the categories of representations he has received about the payment of the community charge by teachers in residential schools.

Mr. Chope

I have received a number of representations from such teachers about the operation of the standard community charge. Amendments recently made to the Local Government and Housing Bill will enable local authorities to provide relief from the standard charge to teachers who are required to live at their school, as I announced on 9 October.

Mr. John Evans

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he has any plans to make extra funds available to people with severe disabilities, independent of income support criteria, for the purpose of poll tax rebates in regard to major house adaptations; and if he will make a statement with special reference to the Rating (Disabled Persons) Act 1978.

Mr. Chope

Rate relief under the Rating (Disabled Persons) Act 1978 was given to avoid disabled people having to pay more than people in similar property as a result of adaptations which increased the rateable value of their home. There is no question of disabled people having to pay more community charge than their neighbours, and no equivalent relief is therefore necessary. The community charge rebate system will provide extra protection for disabled people, who will be able to qualify for benefit at higher levels of income than people who are not disabled. The Government have announced that there will be special provision for disabled people in the transitional relief scheme.

Mr. Spearing

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what estimate he has made of the administrative implications of his proposals for transitional relief associated with the community charge; and if he will request specific local authorities for their assessment of issues raised by their implementation including the availability of sufficient information.

Mr. Chope

My officials are in discussion with the local authority associations about the administrative implications of the Government's proposals for transitional relief. In addition, we have sent details of the proposals to all authorities and invited them to make representations.