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Local Government Finance

Volume 173: debated on Thursday 24 May 1990

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To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will list in the Official Report, in tabular form for each local authority in England and Wales, the recommended community charge level, the total amount in central Government grant, the number of over-18-yearolds within the area, identifying with an asterisk those authorities which have been charge-capped by his Department.

[holding answer 22 May 1990]: I am arranging for information to be placed in the Library of the House showing for each charging authority in England

  • (a) the average community charge at 1 April.
  • (b) the charge that would have been set had each notifiable authority spent broadly at the level of its SSA.
  • (c) the amount of revenue support grant, adjusted for the area safety net, and special transitional grants receivable and
  • (d) the relevant population for 1990–91 calculated in accordance with the population report.
  • Comparable figures for Wales are a matter for my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Wales.

    To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what is the total level of central Government assistance per charge payer, as expressed on the community charge collection notice for (a) Westminster, (b) Castle Morpeth, (c) Alnwick and (d) Berwick-upon-Tweed.

    The figures are as follows:

    Revenue support grantSpecial grantsArea safety net
    Castle Morpeth180·25-5·84

    To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will publish a table showing for each charging authority in England in receipt of safety net grant the amount to be withdrawn in (i) 1991–92 and (ii) 1992–93, expressed both in £ million and £ per head.

    My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State proposed last November that transitional protection for the years 1991–92 to 1993–94 would be paid by way of a special grant calculated so that the equivalent of £25 per adult or 25 per cent. of the combined protection given by the safety net and the low rateable values area special grant in 1990–91, whichever is the greater, is withdrawn each year. I will place in the Library a table exemplifying the effects of these proposals.

    To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what guidance has been issued by his Department on the practice of managing agents charging residents of blocks of flats sums of money to pay the poll tax of live-in staff such as caretakers; and if he will make a statement.

    A person who is subject to a personal community charge is individually liable to pay the community charge as it has effect for the year. Only where the joint and several liability provisions of the Local Government Finance Act 1988 apply would another person—the spouse—also be liable for the same amount. It is possible, however, for any person to pay another person's community charge for him or her. If an employer pays an employee's charge, the employer is chargeable to income tax on the amount concerned. Whether or not in such circumstances managing agents seek to defray their costs through charges to residents of blocks of flats will be a contractual matter for agreement between residents and the agents.