Examination of Witnesses (Questions 460-463)
MR JOHN WALKER, MR IAN TREHEARNE AND MR SEAN CREIGHTON
WEDNESDAY 17 APRIL 2002
460. Tariffs: is this equitable or does it not mean that if you are going to have tariffs on these developments the rich parts of the country will generate quite a lot of money from tariffs and the poor parts of the country will not generate much at all?
(Mr Trehearne) We agree exactly. We think that is a real problem. We cannot see how brown land in, say, Stoke on Trent, which is not worth developing at the moment is going to be able to generate anything extra by way of tariff income.
461. Could you have exemptions from tariffs where it was socially desirable for developments to take place?
(Mr Trehearne) If that were the case, the benefits from those tariffs would not accrue to those areas so it would be regressive.
(Mr Walker) We have suggested you might look at a form of transfer of part of the tariff system.
Chairman: A sort of equalisation scheme and no doubt some civil servants could produce a very bureaucratic system.
Sir Paul Beresford
462. That sounds like a betterment tax and the Treasury looking forward in two years' time to readjusting the amount of money they pay local authorities.
(Mr Trehearne) We do wonder. Privately and personally, I wonder whether this is not simply going to be taken forward into tax collectors, yes.
463. You are not overly enthusiastic about tariffs?
(Mr Walker) On balance, we thought they were worth looking into but we had even more concerns about how they were brought in and how they co-existed with section 106 negotiations.
Chairman: On that note, can I thank you very much for your evidence.