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Local Government Finance

Volume 174: debated on Tuesday 12 June 1990

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To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will take urgent steps to amend the arrangements relating to the standard community charge in cases where this charge is such as to equal or to approach either the value of the property itself or the value of the period of occupancy or ownership involved.

Charging authorities may set a standard charge of 0, ½,1,1½ or 2 times the personal community charge for their area. In addition to the classes of property which we have prescribed and in respect of which no charge or a lower charge than the maximum is payable, authorities may specify their own classes by reference to one of the factors set out in the legislation. These factors include the use to which properties are put or are intended to be put; the period for which they have been unoccupied; or the personal circumstances but not the financial circumstances of the individual who is subject to the standard charge. They do not, however, allow for authorities to vary the amount of the standard charge by making reference to the value of a property, which would mean the return of rating or the creation of a capital value system.