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Departments: Rates and Rating

Volume 460: debated on Wednesday 23 May 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence under which budget heads in his Department’s accounts (a) council tax payments and (b) national non-domestic rate payments can be identified in respect of Ministry of Defence property. (138416)

All service accommodation in England, Scotland and Wales is formally exempt from the payment of council tax but the Ministry of Defence pays instead a Contribution in Lieu of Council Tax (CILOCT) to local authorities. CILOCT is broadly equivalent to the amount of tax that would otherwise be due based on an assessment made by the Department on the number and type of properties it occupies. These are agreed annually with individual authorities.

Both CILOCT and National Non-Domestic Rates are included within the 2005-06 Departmental Resource Accounts in the Operating Cost Statement as ‘Other Operating Costs’. The costs are included within Note 10 under the description of ‘Accommodation Charges’.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence how much his Department paid to local authorities for (a) council tax and (b) national non-domestic rates in respect of (i) Erskine Barracks, Wilton, (ii) Boscombe Down Airfield, (iii) Defence Science and Technology Laboratories, Porton Down and (iv) Royal Naval Dockyard, Portsmouth in 2006; and if he will make a statement. (138417)

In financial year 2006-07 the non domestic rates paid were:

Site

Amount (£)

Erskine Barracks, Wilton

197,015

Boscombe Down Airfield

1,136,625

Defence Science and Technology Laboratories, Porton Down

567,230

Royal Naval Dockyard, Portsmouth

2,622,245

All Service accommodation in England, Scotland and Wales is formally exempt from the council tax regime and the Ministry of Defence instead pays a contribution in lieu of council tax (CILOCT) to local authorities, broadly equivalent to the amount of tax that would otherwise be due. In financial year 2006-07, MOD paid some £2 million in CILOCT to Salisbury district council, which covers the sites at Erskine Barracks, Boscombe Down Airfield and Porton Down and some £700,000 to Portsmouth city council, which covers the Royal Naval Dockyard, Portsmouth. These payments cover both service families accommodation and single living accommodation.

I will write to the hon. Member with a further breakdown of payments made in relation to the specific sites requested and place a copy of my letter in the Library of the House.