§ Sir David Price
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what he estimates will be the yield of the community charge in England in 1991–92 allowing for the effect of the community charge reduction schemes.
§ Mr. Portillo
The community charge is expected to yield about £7.4 billion in England in 1991–92. About £1 billion of this will be met by community charge benefit.
§ Mr. Austin Mitchell
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what steps he will take to ensure that the £140 reduction of community charge announced on 19 March does not lead to any reduction in the benefits previously provided for those people entitled to rebates.
§ Mr. Key
All headline community charges for 1991–92 will be reduced by £140 as a result of the Community Charges (General Reduction) Bill. The amount of community charge benefit received by charge payers will be lower as a result, but all charge payers, including those on benefit, should have reduced bills.54W
§ Mr. John Evans
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what would have been the community charge in the London boroughs of(a) Wandsworth and (b) Westminster had they received in 1990–91 Government grants per head of relevant population of £448.
§ Mr. Key
Since 1 April 1990, in contrast to previous arrangements, revenue support grant has been paid to the receiving authority for each area in support jointly of its own expenditure and that of the precepting authorities in the area. For this reason it is inappropriate to attempt to estimate the community charge that Wandsworth and Westminster would have set had they received in 1990–91 Government grants per head of relevant population of £448.
§ Mr. Key
[holding answer 28 March 1991]: The figure of £4.3 billion represents broadly the switch from local to central taxation. It is estimated that the gross cost of community charge grant will be some £5.6 billion in Great Britain. Because many people are already getting extensive help with paying their charges at the levels set by authorities the general reduction will result in savings of some £1.3 billion on reduction scheme grant and benefit subsidy.