§ Mr. Baldry
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions if he will list by local authority the yield to the Exchequer of business rates in the last year for which figures are available. 
§ Mr. Raynsford
I have today placed in the Library of the House a table showing the amounts which local authorities calculated as their provisional contribution to the non-domestic rates pool for 1998–99.
§ Mr. Borrow
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what plans she has to abolish the Crown exemption from non-domestic rates; and if she will make a statement. 45W
§ Ms Armstrong
The Local Government and Rating Act 1997 made provision to end the Crown exemption from non-domestic rates in England, Wales and Scotland. We have decided to bring these provisions into force with effect from 1 April 2000. From that date, Crown property will be subject to non-domestic rates in the same way as property occupied by other ratepayers. We will make orders to commence the relevant parts of the 1997 Act in due course.
It has been Government policy since the late nineteenth century that property occupied for the public service, including Government departments, should make contributions in lieu of rates on the same basis as if they were rateable. Abolishing Crown exemption will give this policy a legal foundation and bring the Crown in line with other ratepayers.