The net cost to local authorities of repairing storm damage to houses is not yet known, and so the extent to which small authorities—or any authority—may qualify for Exchequer assistance cannot yet be assessed. Each application for assistance on grounds of undue burden on the rates will be considered on its merits.
I welcome that statement from the right hon. Gentleman, but will he keep a careful watch on the situation and undertake to give the assistance he considers giving as readily and as willingly as possible?
At the end of his Question my hon. Friend asks about the basis on which assistance is to be assessed. Can the right hon. Gentleman say anything more precise about that than that each case will be considered on its merits?