§ Mr. Robin Cook
To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) in what manner under the current rating system(a) National Health Service property and (b) private hospitals are assessed;
(2) in what manner, for the purposes of the uniform business rate (a) National Health Service property and (b) independent hospitals, will be assessed.
§ Mr. Freeman
NHS property is occupied by the Crown and is thus exempt from rates. However, contributions in lieu of rates are paid on the same basis as though the property were rateable. The Treasury valuer determines the values of NHS property for rating purposes, applying the principles laid down in rating legislation and agrees these with the representative of the rating authority; the contribution is then calculated by applying the local rate poundage to the value. Similar principles will apply to the determination of contributions in lieu of rates after 1 April 1990; the Treasury valuer has revalued all non-domestic NHS property for this purpose.
Private and independent hospitals are rateable and are assessed by the valuation office in accordance with the relevant legislation. This will continue after 1 April 1990.