Whitstable (Survey)

Oral Answers to Questions — Local Government – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 24th November 1964.

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Photo of Mr Russell Johnston Mr Russell Johnston , Inverness 12:00 am, 24th November 1964

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government what study he has made of the survey of Whitstable, a copy of which has been sent to him; and, in view of the need to revise the rating system, if he will initiate similar surveys in other parts of the country.

Photo of Mr Richard Crossman Mr Richard Crossman , Coventry East

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.

Photo of Mr Russell Johnston Mr Russell Johnston , Inverness

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?

Photo of Mr Richard Crossman Mr Richard Crossman , Coventry East

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.