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Clause 11—(Abolition Of Rate Books)

Volume 640: debated on Wednesday 10 May 1961

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I beg to move, in page 9, line 29, to leave out from first "of" to "any" and to insert:

"the rates payable or paid in respect of the hereditament for".
Under Clause 11, with the disappearance of rate books as such, there disappears also the ratepayer's right to inspect the rate book, the Clause replaces that right to some extent so as to serve the ratepayer in his legitimate needs. Subsection (4) entitles the ratepayer to a statement of the rates payable and paid for the hereditament in respect of which he is or has been liable.

The hon. Member for Southampton, Itchen (Dr. King), who was Chairman of the Standing Committee, drew my right hon. Friend's attention to a difficulty here. A number of local authorites have made the same representations. They made it plain to my right hon. Friend that it would be very difficult for them in many cases to identify for a past period as long as nine years the particular person who had made payments in respect of a particular hereditament. This would be especially difficult if cash payments had been made in one or more of those nine years.

The Amendment seeks to overcome the difficulty by relating the certificate which the ratepayer can demand no longer to the rates payable and paid by the individual but to the rates payable and paid in respect of the hereditament with which the ratepayer making the request is concerned.

I hope that that will seem a constructive way of dealing with the difficulties that would otherwise have been felt by many local authorities.

Amendment agreed to.

Further Amendment made: In page 9, line 30, leave out "he" and insert "the person".—[ Sir K. Joseph.]