Rating Revaluation (Scotland)

Part of Oral Answers to Questions – in the House of Commons at 3:35 pm on 14th May 1985.

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Mr. Bruce Milian:

While we obviously welcome this further attempt by the Secretary of State to extricate himself from a mess of his own making, may I tell him that, if he believes that it will resolve the rating crisis, he will soon be disabused of that notion? The extra £10 million for domestic ratepayers will reduce the average increase in their bills this year from 21 per cent. to about 20 per cent. If the right hon. Gentleman believes that that will satisfy domestic ratepayers, he could not be more out of touch with the feelings of ratepayers in Scotland on this matter. In any case, why does he not tell us the whole story? The crisis relates not only to revaluation but to successive cuts in rate support grant. Is it not utter hypocrisy to talk about the £50 million being new money when we know that, before the summer recess, the Secretary of State will impose penalties of £100 million on Scottish local authorities? He will be imposing penalties twice as great as the sum that he announced this afternoon. Is it not complete humbug to talk about this being new money?