and Vaux asked Her Majesty's Government:
What plans they have to ensure that the public are informed of the way in which the new community charge system will operate.
The Earl of Caithness
We published yesterday a new booklet giving up-to-date information on the new community charge system which will be introduced in April 1990. It is available free on request. We will also be publishing shortly seven supplementary leaflets, giving more detailed information on particular aspects of the system—for example, on exemptions and appeals. These, too, will be available free on request. Copies have been placed in the Library. The total cost of producing the booklet and leaflets is estimated at £80,000.
We shall also send a leaflet to all households in England next May, to coincide with canvassing by local authorities to prepare the register of those liable to pay the community charge. The leaflet will help people to understand the purpose of the canvass and what they need to do. We estimate that the cost of producing and distributing it will be of the order of £980,000.
Since May this year we have issued, jointly with local authority associations, a series of practice notes to individual local authorities and interested organisations dealing with the practical and technical details of the new system. Nine practice notes have so far been published at a cost of £9,000. Twelve more are in preparation. One of the practice notes contained a model canvass form with associated information notes. We are arranging to have the form and notes translated into five minority languages for use by local authorities where appropriate.