To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what further progress there has been, since his reply to the hon. Member for Banbury on 3 February, Official Report, column 652, in the finalising of rate limits for rate-capped authorities in 1988–89.
I announced on 3 February that I was seeking the agreement of five rate-capped authorities to limits higher than those which I had proposed in December. Two of those authorities — Greenwich and Hackney — have accepted their new figure and these limits have now been prescribed by written direction.In three other cases, where I was prepared to agree a particular higher figure, the authorities did not accept my proposal. In these cases, and in the eight others where I was not minded to agree an increase over the limits proposed in December, I have looked carefully at any further information provided by the authorities and any further representations which they have made. I was not persuaded, however, that I should take a different view from that which I announced on 3 February. I have therefore today laid a draft order before the House and shall be seeking the approval of the House to the rate limits specified in that draft.