§ Mr. Macdonald
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland whether he intends to issue new guidance to bring the community charge liability of merchant seamen who are at sea for more than six months in the year into line with the guidance issued for England and Wales by the Department of the Environment on 26 October.
§ Lord James Douglas-Hamilton
My right hon. and learned Friend has no plans to do so at present. It is for community charges registration officers, whether in Scotland or in England and Wales, to decide in the light of all the facts and circumstances relating to individual cases whether a person is solely or mainly resident in their area and thus liable to pay the personal community charge. Decisions made by community charges registration officers are, of course, appealable.