HC Deb 22 February 1990 vol 167 cc869-70W
Mr. Jack

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what evaluation his Department has made in 1990 of alternative methods of raising finance for Scottish local government other than the community charge.

Lord James Douglas-Hamilton

A number of possible options for financing local government were evaluated before the decision was taken to abolish domestic rates and introduce the community charge. There has been no need since then for any study of alternative methods of finance. The Labour party's proposed roof tax is essentially a return to domestic rates and if introduced would mean a return to the many anomalies and unfairness of that system.

Mr. Canavan

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what is his estimate of the number of people who have gained financially from the introduction of the poll tax.

Lord James Douglas-Hamilton

At the outset of the new system it was estimated that around 50 per cent. of households would benefit from the introduction of the community charge. Other changes in the local government finance system, introduced at the same time as the community charge, and the lack of information on what local authority budgets and rate poundages would have been under the previous system make it impossible to provide further information.

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