To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food if any special measures will be introduced when the poll tax is implemented to offset the circumstances of agricultural workers for tied cottages who at present do not pay rates; and if he will make a statement.
[holding answer 7 December 1987]: No. Rates are payable on tied cottages under the present system and farmers frequently agree to meet this bill on behalf of their employees. In such cases, rates can be treated as taxable expenses for the employers and as taxable benefits for the employees. It is intended under the new system that employees should still be able to agree with their employers to meet the community charge.