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Clause 14—(Refund Of Overpayments)

Volume 640: debated on Wednesday 10 May 1961

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I beg to move, in page 11, line 23, after "rates", to insert:

", and not recoverable apart from this section,".
In Clause 13 it is laid down that a ratepayer who appeals against his assessment must pay half the amount of the demand pending determination of his appeal. Clause 14, from its form, deals with the refunding of overpayment of rates, but repayment of the part payment made by an appellant would, it seems, be within the discretion of the local authority, even if the ratepayer had succeeded in his appeal. I believe there are grounds for thinking that the matter is sufficiently covered by other provisions outside the Bill, but my Amendment would finally dispose of any doubt.

My right hon. Friend is advised that the fears of my hon. Friend the Member for Buckinghamshire, South (Mr. Ronald Bell) have no substance and that the Clause could not be interpreted in the way he fears. Nevertheless, since the modification he wishes to make could do no harm, my right hon. Friend suggests that, fox the removal of any doubt which there might be in the minds of laymen, the Amendment should be accepted.

Amendment agreed to.