Below is the text of the written answers relating to Prime Minister’s Question Time from 8th July 1991.
Local Government Finance
Mr. Cohen : To ask the Prime Minister why he decided to require local authorities when setting their poll tax levels to cover the cost of unpaid poll tax bills; and if he has any plans to change this requirement.
The Prime Minister : As part of its budgetary process and in line with proper accounting practice, every local authority has to estimate the level of non-recoverable charges for the forthcoming year and then set a community charge which takes this into account. In this respect, the community charge is no different from the old domestic rating system.
Mr. Cohen : To ask the Prime Minister what is his policy on recouping losses arising from the non-payment of Government bills from the subsequent payers of such bills.
The Prime Minister : Departments are advised in “Government Accounting”, the Treasury’s guide on accounting and financial procedures for Government Departments, that all reasonable action should be taken to effect recovery of losses.
Health Care Corporation Ltd.
Mr. Campbell-Savours : To ask the Prime Minister what legal costs have been contributed by Her Majesty’s Government either directly or indirectly towards the legal costs of either party in the case of Regina v. Elmridge Borough Council, ex parte Health Care Corporation Ltd. and another.
The Prime Minister : In civil cases the costs are a matter for the parties involved. There has been no Government involvement in this case.
Mrs. Ray Michie : To ask the Prime Minister, pursuant to his answer of 17 June, Official Report, column 9, if he will make public those parts of the agreement between the United Kingdom and United States Governments to establish the United States Navy base at Holy Loch in 1960 which pertain to (a) civilian safety in the area; (b) the local community and (c) the local economy; and if he will make a statement.
The Prime Minister : I have nothing further to add to the answer I gave the hon. Member on 17 June.