To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what assessment his Department has made of the average cost of the poll tax per family, as compared with rates bills, in local authorities in the valley areas of Mid Glamorgan.
The average rate bill per household in Mid Glamorgan in the current year is £220. Future payments under the community charge will depend upon decisions to be made about grant and needs assessment levels, as well as the expenditure of the local authorities at the time.
Is it not a fact that, even by the most conservative estimates, the average tenant and homeowner in a community such as I represent will face a significant increase in the poll tax as compared with the rates bill? By what possible justification can there be equity or fairness in increasing the cost of services, rates or the poll tax to the people who are the poorer home-owners in the community?
In Wales less than 20 per cent. of all local Government expenditure will be met by the poll tax. Added to which, if the hon. Gentleman had listened to my answer to his question, the poll tax will depend on what happens about needs assessment levels.