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Volume 720: debated on Wednesday 17 November 1965

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asked the Secretary of State for Scotland how many Scottish local authorities have now announced their rate poundages for the year 1965–66; and what percentage increase there will be in the total amount raised in rates by these authorities in the year 1965–66 compared with amounts raised in the year 1964–65.

All Scottish local authorities have now, by Statute, fixed their rate poundages for 1965–66. There is likely to be an increase of slightly over 9 per cent. in rate income, or 7 per cent. increase in average rate poundages.

Does the hon. Gentleman recall saying in Committee on 29th June that the probable increase in rates this year would be 4 per cent.? Why is it that, on housing and roads and other vital matters, he is proving to be such a bad prophet all the time?

This is the only assessment that has ever gone wrong. But I would point out that it compares not unfavourably with the 8·6 per cent. increase in 1963–64 and the 19 per cent. increase in 1961–62. He must await the Government's next steps in this matter, including, of course, the legislation which we have promised will be introduced this Session.