The cost of administering refunds to the private sector is about £375,000 in a full year, and about a third of this is for refunds to agriculture. The cost of collection cannot be separately identified.
As I said in answer to a previous Question, it is not a waste of time and money. This tax, including the cost of paying the refunds, is an unusually cheap tax to administer.
Does the right hon. Gentleman realise from the figures he has already given that those parts of the country least able to pay are bearing the biggest burden? Will he give an assurance that he will put this right at an early date?
The hon. Gentleman will understand from my original reply that I can give him no assurance, and that he can draw no deductions from my original Answer.