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Local Government Finance

Volume 175: debated on Monday 2 July 1990

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To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment when he will make an order under section 106 of the Local Government Finance Act 1988 confirming the charge caps on those local authorities which neither accepted the caps he proposed nor put forward alternative amounts within the statutory period of 28 days of their being designated for capping.

[pursuant to his reply, 19 June 1990, c. 477–78]: I have today laid before the House a draft order, under section 104 of the 1988 Act, setting out my decisions on the final caps of 16 authorities which did not accept the caps which I proposed for them and put forward alternative amounts within the 28-day period. I have carefully considered the cases which the authorities made in support of the figures which they suggested. In the case of Brent, Southwark and Wigan I have decided to increase the caps which I proposed for them by £2·5 million, £2·5 million and £2 million respectively. In the case of the other 13 authorities I have decided to confirm their caps at the level I originally proposed.The 16 authorities and their caps included in the draft order are as follows:

Implied reduction in budget
££ million£ per adult
Hammersmith and Fulham155,800,00011·799
North Tyneside122,900,0006·845
St. Helens122,800,0003·929

As I said on 6 June in response to a question from my hon. Friend the Member for Tatton (Mr. Hamilton), I laid before the House that day a draft section 104 order confirming Hillingdon's cap.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will estimate how many people have refused to pay the community charge; and if he will make a statement.

[pursuant to his reply, 27 June 1990 c. 261]: This information is not available centrally but reports indicate that in many authorities over 80 per cent. of charge payers have begun to make payments and there are very few cases of wilful refusal to pay.