asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will make a further statement on the question of the discretionary powers of rating authorities in relation to charity shops.
Yes. I am now advised that rate relief under Section 40(5) of the General Rate Act 1967 is not available in respect of these premises. The Questions by my hon. Friend the Member for South Shields (Mr. Blenkinsop) on 7th May and the hon. Members for Isle of Wight (Mr. Ross) on 8th May and Hampstead (Mr. Finsberg) on 15th May were tabled and answered before the fill judgment was available. I have explained this to Oxfam and the leaders of other charities affected.—[Vol. 891, c. 451], [Vol. 891. c. 503], [Vol. 892, c. 162.]