Is the Minister aware that the general rate in the former Thorne rural district, now part of the Doncaster metropolitan borough, has increased by up to 80·1 per cent. between last year and this year after more than doubling in the previous year? Does he not think that such extreme cases require special consideration by the central Government.
I am afraid that I do not have the figures for a particular former rural district, but for Booth Ferry as a whole the average increase is 56 per cent. I would remind my hon. Friend that the average cash payment per household in that area is £51 in a year against £147 in Waltham Forest.
Will the Minister give some facts and figures to show to what extent the higher rates are due to the fact that the people did not give their full-hearted consent and, therefore, certainly did not endorse the ludicrous so-called reorganisation of local government instituted by the Conservative Government?
That was carried out by a previous Tory Government. The right hon. Gentleman is well aware that last year London escaped many of the increases which the rest of the country had to bear. I find it astonishing that he should ask such a question in view of the fact that he was responsible for the reorganisation of local government.