I move that the Bill be now read a Second Time. The purpose of this Bill is to extend to the 31st March, 1952, the period prescribed in the Local Government (Remission of Rates) Act, 1940, as extended by the Local Government (Remission of Rates) Act, 1950, within which the erection, enlargement or improvement of a residence must be completed in order to qualify for a remission of two-thirds of the rates for five years.
The remission does not apply in the case of houses erected by local authorities under the Labourers Acts and the Housing of the Working Classes Acts, houses in respect of which grants have been made under the Housing Acts, or houses receiving remission of rates under the Housing (Gaeltacht) Acts. In effect, therefore, rates remission under this code is limited to the larger type of house which does not get assistance in any other way, either from the State or the local authority. The number of houses of this type now being erected is very small.
This rate remission code has always been on a temporary basis. The parent Act—the Local Government (Remission of Rates) Act, 1940— covered the period up to 30th September, 1942. Since then the period has been extended by five short continuing Acts similar to the present Bill. The last Act—the Local Government (Remission of Rates) Act, 1950—extended the period for completion up to 31st March, 1951. The period will by this Bill be further extended to the 31st March, 1952.
The Bill does not involve any new principle and I feel sure that the House will accept it.