Results 161–180 of 2841 for speaker:Mr Dick Douglas

Orders of the Day — Local Government Finance and Valuation Bill: Valuation of Domestic Properties (12 Jun 1991)

Mr Dick Douglas: I do not intend to speak at length. The hon. Member for Dagenham (Mr. Gould) dealt specifically with the situation in England. The poll tax was introduced in Scotland a year earlier, so the problems are much more severe—especially in the Strathclyde region, where half the population of Scotland lives, and in Lothian. In those two regions and in the rest of Scotland, the rates of...

Orders of the Day — Local Government Finance and Valuation Bill: Valuation of Domestic Properties (12 Jun 1991)

Mr Dick Douglas: The Minister is too insular to know what is happening in Scotland. The Under-Secretary of State for Scotland, the hon. Member for Eastwood (Mr. Stewart), who is sitting next to him, may or may not agree, but I am sure that he is aware of the level of non-payment and non-collection in Scotland. I am reasonably sure—although I cannot be certain of anything—that that level will rise rather...

Orders of the Day — Local Government Finance and Valuation Bill: Valuation of Domestic Properties (12 Jun 1991)

Mr Dick Douglas: I do not understand the position in England and Wales; but, if we returned to the rating system in Scotland, we would bring back the whole paraphernalia of appeals. That will arise in connection with this Bill. People have made improvements to their properties. Whatever may be said about the way in which the banding system would relate to such improvements, it cannot be denied that they must...

Orders of the Day — Local Government Finance and Valuation Bill: Valuation of Domestic Properties (12 Jun 1991)

Mr Dick Douglas: I assume that the hon. Gentleman is talking about the interim period in England. We are in an intense pre-general election period. Assuming that there will not be an election until the spring of 1992, what would the Labour party do between then and April 1993? I understand the quick fix proposed in the amendments, but they are not necessarily in Labour's electoral gift. How would the Labour...

Orders of the Day — Local Government Finance and Valuation Bill: Valuation of Domestic Properties (12 Jun 1991)

Mr Dick Douglas: Much as I love and adore the right hon. Gentleman and his speeches, will he clarify how it would be possible to treat three-bedroomed houses the same throughout the country if capital valuation is based on arm's-length deals? Presumably the right hon. Gentleman believes in the free market—I know he does—so how can one use arm's-length deals to arrive at the capital value?

Orders of the Day — Local Government Finance and Valuation Bill: Valuation of Domestic Properties (12 Jun 1991)

Mr Dick Douglas: The House should be clear that the hon. Gentleman is referring to an entirely English practice. There is a new clause grouped with the amendment that refers to Scotland, although I do not propose to speak to it. I must make it clear that the Scottish Assessors Association has distinctly different views from those being expressed by the hon. Gentleman.

Orders of the Day — Local Government Finance and Valuation Bill: Amendment of Grounds for Charge Capping in Scotland (11 Jun 1991)

Mr Dick Douglas: We are in a transitional period. A timetable that may have been appopriate in relation to setting budgets in the past is not appropriate given the dislocation that local authorities are suffering. Cannot the Minister reconsider his dates and give the information—in consultation with COSLA, of course—well before the time that he mentioned?

Orders of the Day — Local Government Finance and Valuation Bill: Amendment of Grounds for Charge Capping in Scotland (11 Jun 1991)

Mr Dick Douglas: Many hon. Members have not come in to listen to the debate and they have not heard the inadequate reply by the Minister. I asked a specific question about grant-aided expenditure, and about the criteria. It is evident from the Minister's inadequate reply that the Secretary of State intends to use a device that is for the purposes of capping. The Minister's reply suggests that the Convention...

Orders of the Day — Local Government Finance and Valuation Bill: Amendment of Grounds for Charge Capping in Scotland (11 Jun 1991)

Mr Dick Douglas: After a fairly long Committee sitting we have come to the clause which applies to Scotland. Although we are discussing amendment No. 41, moved by the hon. Member for Glasgow, Cathcart (Mr. Maxton) I should like to allude to amendment No. 3, tabled by my hon. Friends and myself, which has not been given pride of place. It has the same thrust as the other amendments in the group, and would have...

Orders of the Day — Local Government Finance and Valuation Bill: Amendment of Grounds for Charge Capping in Scotland (11 Jun 1991)

Mr Dick Douglas: I am not avoiding the question, but things have moved on. The Government raised VAT to 17·5 per cent. and are now responsible for 90 per cent. of local authority revenue. But should they so desire, they could become responsible for 100 per cent. Collection of the poll tax is down to 50 per cent. As a short-term expedient to save local government the embarrassment of trying to collect an...

Orders of the Day — Local Government Finance and Valuation Bill: Amendment of Grounds for Charge Capping in Scotland (11 Jun 1991)

Mr Dick Douglas: We may cavil about that, so let me put it gently: there is no disagreement that the 20 per cent. rule should be abolished and that students and others should be exempt from the poll tax. The Government have a responsibility to bridge the gap in revenue. Perhaps VAT should be increased further, but the most efficient measure is the standard rate of tax. In the long term, we propose a local...

Orders of the Day — Dangerous Dogs Bill (10 Jun 1991)

Mr Dick Douglas: In view of the possibility of such animals being moved, has there been any consultation with the authorities in the Isle of Man, the Channel Islands and the Republic of Ireland?

Opposition Day: Government of London (5 Jun 1991)

Mr Dick Douglas: Before Scotland?

Orders of the Day — Local Government Finance and Valuation Bill (3 Jun 1991)

Mr Dick Douglas: I want briefly to follow the hon. Member for Teignbridge (Mr. Nicholls) in his constitutional analysis of the protectors of the people. In a few months—we do not know how long it will be—we shall go to the country in an election. I very much doubt whether any hon. Member will say blandly to the electorate that the real protection of the rights of the people is the House of Commons....

Orders of the Day — Local Government Finance and Valuation Bill (3 Jun 1991)

Mr Dick Douglas: I may have it wrong, but I understand that it would be a short-term measure and that Labour has longer-term proposals, with which I do not want to deal tonight. The idea is that the Government of the day would reintroduce the rating system. In Scotland, the basis for rating is not too outmoded because of the recent revaluation, which caused us all the difficulties in 1985. It might be uprated...

Orders of the Day — Local Government Finance and Valuation Bill (3 Jun 1991)

Mr Dick Douglas: I do not expect an answer, but the points that I make are important and must be put on the record. We have seen an alteration in the gearing of local government funding. In Scotland, only £1 out of £10 of local authority revenue comes from what will be called the community tax or council tax. There may have been an argument in the past for using fairly draconian powers to cap local...

Orders of the Day — Local Government Finance and Valuation Bill (3 Jun 1991)

Mr Dick Douglas: The Minister disagrees, but that is a matter for discussion and analysis by both hon. Members and experts. I am willing to have such discussions with the Minister. To substantiate my support for a local income tax, I quote from the report of the Institute of Fiscal Studies. Although the institute argued initially for a property-based tax, the report says: In the longer term, however, if it...

Orders of the Day — Local Government Finance and Valuation Bill (3 Jun 1991)

Mr Dick Douglas: I am sorry to pursue the matter, but that is not what the definition of a valuation officer says. I refer the Minister to clause 4(6), which says: 'valuation officer' means any officer of the Commissioners of Inland Revenue who is for the time being appointed by them to be a valuation officer or a deputy valuation officer for the purposes of the valuation under section 3 above. The...

Orders of the Day — Local Government Finance and Valuation Bill (3 Jun 1991)

Mr Dick Douglas: On a point of order, Mr. Deputy Speaker. I apologise for interrupting, but I am extremely intrigued about how the Secretary of State for the Environment will discuss in detail a Bill which has seven clauses, only two of which apply specifically to England and Wales, three of which apply specifically to Scotland and two of which are shared. How can he entertain the House with a graphic...


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