HC Deb 24 November 1994 vol 250 cc341-2W
Mrs. Ewing

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland on what date Her Majesty's Government first decided that there should be a Scottish unified business rate; and to whom this policy was first announced.

Mr. Stewart

The Government's unified business rates policy was first announced by my right hon. and learned Friend, the Member for Edinburgh, Pentlands (Mr. Rifkind) in a speech to the Scottish Young Business Group in Glasgow on 8 May 1989. Powers were subsequently taken in the Local Government and Housing Act 1989 to enable my right hon. Friend to prescribe non-domestic rate poundages for each Scottish local authority from 1990–91 onwards with the intention of reducing poundages progressively to the level of the national non-domestic rate in England.