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Volume 33: debated on Tuesday 30 November 1982

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asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will take steps to limit the commercial and industrial rate.

I sympathise with the problems of hard-pressed businesses in areas with high rates. I am continuing to tackle the problem at root by discouraging excessive spending by individual authorities through the system of block grant and individual cash expenditure guidelines.To go further and limit local authorities' ability to levy rates would require new powers. To limit non-domestic rates could result in sharp increases in rate bills for domestic ratepayers in the areas concerned.