asked the Minister for Finance if he is aware of the grave hardship imposed on the tenants of new county council houses due to the fact that new houses are rated at too high a valuation; and if he will take steps to alleviate this hardship.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - County Council House Rates.
As the Deputy is aware the fixing of valuations of new houses is, under the Valuation Acts, solely a matter for the Commissioner of Valuation and I have no function in this regard.
The Valuation Acts provide a means of revising rateable valuations and it is open to any house occupier who is dissatisfied with his valuation to use the appeal mechanism of the Acts.
Surely the Minister is aware that since the houses are the property of the local authority and the local authority have not power to appeal against the decision of the Commissioner of Valuation, this matter cannot be dealt with except by a direct order of the Minister? Further, would the Minister not agree that a person who gets a new cottage which has a valuation of £11, £12 or £13, has to pay almost £1 per week extra with the rent, which the Minister for Local Government insists must be paid? Would the Minister not agree that severe hardship is imposed on the tenant?
First, I should like to disabuse Deputy Tully of any idea that I can make some order in this regard——
The Minister might change the law.
As I have pointed out, it is the function of the Commissioner of Valuation. I would add for the information of the Deputy that I am informed and advised by the Valuation Office that the occupier of a county council house who is dissatisfied with his valuation can use the appeals mechanism under the Act.
I am glad that is so. However, my own local authority in-form me that this is not the case.
That is what the Valuation Office have told me.
We will test it very quickly.
Questions Nos. 16 and 17 postponed.