To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment whether he has yet completed his consideration of responses to the consultative paper "Non-Domestic Rates: Amendments to the Rating Legislation in England and Wales", published in July 1987; and if he will make a statement.
I have today written to the hon. Member for Copeland (Dr. Cunningham) setting out the Government's conclusions, including some modifications to the Government's proposals in the light of consultees' views. These mainly concern the power to remit rates on grounds of hardship; local authorities' involvement in the determination of rateable values; the proposed limit on the period in which ratepayers may propose alterations to rateable values; the backdating of alterations to the valuation list; and the duty on local authorities to consult business ratepayers. I have placed copies of that letter in the Library. The changes will be given effect in the Local Government Finance Bill or in regulations made under it.