I have seen the report and it is being considered as part of the Government's examination of the whole system of local government finance. I do not consider further surveys to be necessary for this purpose.
Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that his right hon. Friend the Prime Minister during the election said some favourable things about levying tax on vacant sites and vacant properties'? Would he consider acting now to levy a tax on vacant properties in the belief that this would encourage their use?
No, I would not. I explained in answer to a previous Question that we are now considering the whole question of local government finance. The possibility of taxing site values or empty sites must be considered as part of that review. This report on Whitstable was very interesting and gave a specific study of that specific aspect. I think that this particular solution is one which has been studied enough, and all one has to do is to decide for or against it.