§ Mr. Steen
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what is the cost to the Exchequer so far of valuation and community charge tribunals; what is the number of outstanding appeals; what is the estimated cost to the Exchequer of hearing the outstanding non-domestic rating appeals; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Key
Valuation and community charge tribunals came into being on 1 May 1989, replacing local valuation panels. The cost of the 56 VCCTs in England and their predecessors since 1989–90 is as follows:
£ million 1989–90 9.8 1990–91 7.6 1991–92 19.2 1estimated.
The relatively high 1989–90 figure includes capital expenditure—in particular on computer hardware—in preparation for handling appeals against the 1990 rating list and the community charge.
At the end of 1991, VCCTs in England had outstanding nearly 600,000 appeals, including non-domestic rating and community charge cases. The following amounts have been provided for English VCCTs in the Government's spending plans:
£ million 1992–93 15.9 1993–94 9.5 1994–95 9.8
These amounts relate to the full costs of VCCTs including all appeal work, and it is not possible to provide separate figures in respect of rating appeals only. In particular, VCCTs will have jurisdiction over certain classes of appeal concerning the council tax to be introduced from 1993. In preparation for this, the figures for 1991–92 and 1992–93 include £0.5 million and £6.8 million respectively for new computer hardware and applications to enable the efficient processing of council tax appeals.