HC Deb 20 March 2001 vol 365 c121W
Mr. Waterson

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions if he will make a statement on Government policy on restoring the business rate to the control of local councils. [153802]

Ms Beverley Hughes

In our White Paper, "Modern Local Government: In Touch with the People" (July 1998), we said that the present system of a national business rate had some advantages and we would therefore retain it. However we said that we would also give local authorities a limited freedom to vary the business rate in their areas. In our Green Paper, Modernising Local Government Finance (September 2000), we sought views on how this might work in detail. A summary of the responses to the Green Paper has been published on the DETR website. We will publish our conclusions in a White Paper later this year.