Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers (Resumed). - Relief of Rates.

267.

asked the Minister for Local Government what plans, if any, his Department have for the provision of relief of rates for private householders.

While the Government's proposals in relation to local finance and taxation generally will be dealt with in a White Paper, several measures have been taken which have the effect of easing the impact of rates on householders. For example, under the provisions of the Local Government (Rates) Act, 1970, all householders now have the right to pay their rates in instalments spread over ten months of the year and rating authorities have power to draw up and adopt schemes for the waiver of rates for necessitous persons.

More than 11,300 domestic ratepayers have been afforded full or partial relief from rates under the terms of the rates waiver schemes adopted last year. Of course, the principal way in which ratepayers in general are assisted is by means of State grants towards local authority revenue expenditure. The amounts of the State subvention to local authorities this year alone will exceed £90 million.