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Small Fixed Income Group

Oral Answers to Questions — National Finance – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 19th November 1957.

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Photo of Miss Irene Ward Miss Irene Ward , Tynemouth 12:00 am, 19th November 1957

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether, before the Bill proposing Local Government Reform is introduced, he will lay a White Paper indicating what steps are being taken to improve the position of ratepayers living on small fixed incomes.

Photo of Miss Irene Ward Miss Irene Ward , Tynemouth

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government if he will include in his Bill for Local Government Reform measures to protect those who do not pay Income Tax from any additional rate burden in respect of transfer of financial responsibility from the taxpayer to the ratepayer.

Photo of Mr Henry Brooke Mr Henry Brooke , Hampstead

I have been asked to reply and, with permission, I will answer this Question and No. 65 together.

The general effect of the Government's proposals will be an overall financial gain to local government. The position of persons living on small incomes is, in other respects, beyond the scope of a Bill whose purpose is to make adjustments in the rating system and in the system of Exchequer grants to local authorities.

Photo of Miss Irene Ward Miss Irene Ward , Tynemouth

On a point of order. In view of the fact that I have had one Question on a similar subject transferred by the Chancellor of the Exchequer to the Minister of Housing and Local Government, might I ask why two Questions were not transferred, and why does not the Chancellor stand up for his own Department himself? Then, may I ask my supplementary? Is my right hon. Friend who is answering for the Chancellor of the Exchequer aware that I am not so interested in the overall gain to my part of the world, though I hope it will be substantial, but that what I am asking is whether those living on small fixed incomes, who are quite as important as those who have large incomes, are to have a protection? Will my right hon. Friend bear in mind that I am unlikely to support the proposals unless some sort of satisfaction for those in whom I am interested is provided?

Photo of Mr Henry Brooke Mr Henry Brooke , Hampstead

If we can get through to the end of Question Time, I have given notice to present a Bill then, and perhaps my hon. Friend would read it.