Community Charge Rebate Scheme

Oral Answers to Questions — Wales – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 29th April 1991.

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Photo of Paul Flynn Paul Flynn , Newport West 12:00 am, 29th April 1991

To ask the Secretary of State for Wales how many representations he has received (a) in favour and (b) in opposition to the Welsh community charge rebate scheme for the coming year.

Photo of Mr David Hunt Mr David Hunt , Wirral West

There were 126, expressing a variety of views.

Photo of Paul Flynn Paul Flynn , Newport West

I am not very grateful for that evasion. May I point out to the Secretary of State that since he has been so generous in confessing that the presented demented system of reliefs in Wales is his brainchild, the system has become known as the "David Hunt levy". Will he give a guarantee that in the unlikely event that he is still in office in a year's time, my constituents in Bassaleg, Rhiwderin, Rogerstone, Allt-yr-yn and Caerleon, who now pay £50 more on the David Hunt levy than do their neighbours in other parts of Newport, will be compensated and that the crazy system will be ended?

Photo of Mr David Hunt Mr David Hunt , Wirral West

This is another own goal by the hon. Gentleman. We are talking about a system that brought an additional £62 million to Wales. That means—I have to whisper this because of my hon. Friend the Member for Dorset (Mr. Bruce)—[HON. MEMBERS: "He is not here."] What a relief. The average community charge paid in Wales this year will be £92 and that is before rebate. The hon. Gentleman should ask the Leader of the Opposition to confess that as well as the national health service not having a high priority in Labour party plans, local government does not have a high priority either. We may go back to the system of support that existed when there was last a Labour Government, which is very bad news for the people of Wales.

Photo of Mr Bernard Weatherill Mr Bernard Weatherill , Croydon North East

Unless something has arisen during Question Time which requires my immediate attention, I take points of order later.

Photo of Mr Bernard Weatherill Mr Bernard Weatherill , Croydon North East

I know that I did not call the hon. Gentleman, but that is not a matter for a point of order. I will take the point of order later.