National and Local Expenditure (Review)

Oral Answers to Questions — National Finance – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 28th July 1964.

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Photo of Mr Dudley Smith Mr Dudley Smith , Brentford and Chiswick 12:00 am, 28th July 1964

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he is satisfied with the progress being made in the Government's review of the relationship between national and local expenditure; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Mr Donald Wade Mr Donald Wade , Huddersfield West

asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer if he will now make a statement on Her Majesty's Government's review of the relationship between national and local expenditure.

Photo of Mr Reginald Maudling Mr Reginald Maudling , Barnet

Progress is satisfactory, but I am not yet in a position to say what proposals will emerge or when the review will be completed.

Photo of Mr Dudley Smith Mr Dudley Smith , Brentford and Chiswick

When the review is completed, will my right hon. Friend take action as quickly as possible on the recommendations in view of the continuing but admittedly necessary increase in the rates burden? When the time comes, will he consider publishing some of the conclusions which are reached?

Photo of Mr Reginald Maudling Mr Reginald Maudling , Barnet

I will certainly consider that when the time comes. We do not want to waste time. One of the important things will be to have consultations with local authorities.

Photo of Mr Donald Wade Mr Donald Wade , Huddersfield West

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that it is over seven months since the decision to carry out this reform was announced by the Minister of Housing and Local Government, and that if no conclusion is to be reached until the Allen Committee has reported—and since this Committee does not report until the autumn—it means that there will be no major changes before the new rate demands go out in April next year? At this rate of progress I shall have grown a long white beard before there is any rating reform.

Photo of Mr Reginald Maudling Mr Reginald Maudling , Barnet

I do not know whether that is a threat or a hope on the part of the hon. Member, but to effect any reform in the rating system will involve legislation, and consultation with local authorities. Therefore, it is bound to take a considerable time.