§ Mr. Worthington
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what regulations or laws govern the ability or duty of the proposed new councils to give personal details of council tax payers to(a) the proposed new water boards and (b) other outside bodies.
§ Mr. Stewart
The Local Government etc. (Scotland) Bill provides that it will be the duty of local authorities to supply information held on the setting, levying or collection of council tax to the new water and sewerage authorities if required to do so by my right hon. Friend and if he considers this will assist the latter either in making a charges scheme or collecting water and sewerage charges made under such a scheme. The Bill provides for such requirements to be imposed by regulations subject to annulment in pursuance of a resolution of either House of Parliament.
As regards other outside bodies, the principal statutory provisions concerning the release of information about council tax payers are contained in the Local Government Finance Act 1992. The provisions of the Act will apply to the proposed new councils. Paragraph 17 of schedule 2 to the Act provides that regulations may be made for the supply of relevant information to any person who requests it for a purpose not relating to part I or II of the Act. However, personal information is specifically excluded from the definition of relevant information.