County Rates (Increase)

Oral Answers to Questions — Local Government – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 13th April 1954.

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Photo of Sir Waldron Smithers Sir Waldron Smithers , Orpington 12:00 am, 13th April 1954

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government if he has studied particulars which have been sent him concerning the persistent rise in county rates; and if he will in the national interest introduce legislation, which will enable Her Majesty's Government to fix a limit to the expenditure of local authorities.

Photo of Mr Harold Macmillan Mr Harold Macmillan , Bromley

Yes, Sir, for the particulars in question are mostly drawn from the Ministry's own publications. The answer to the second part of the Question is in the negative.

Photo of Sir Waldron Smithers Sir Waldron Smithers , Orpington

Is my right hon. Friend aware that the average county rate has about doubled in the last 20 years? As the increase is a burden upon industry and does harm to our export trade, will he take action on the lines suggested in the Question?

Photo of Mr Harold Macmillan Mr Harold Macmillan , Bromley

This is a very difficult problem. The suggested legislation would be rather too crude an instrument for this very complex problem.