§ Mr. Chope
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, pursuant to his answer of 2 December 1999,Official Report, column 289W, on business rates, what his estimate is of the total amount to be collected in rates in England in (a) 1999–2000 and (b) 2000–01; and what multiplier for inflation he used to calculate the real-terms difference between the two figures. 
§ Ms Beverley Hughes
I have been asked to reply.
I refer the hon. Member to the reply given by my right hon. Friend the Minister for Local Government and the Regions to my hon. Friend the Member for Blackpool, South (Mr. Marsden) on 9 December 1999, Official Report, columns 604 06W.
The calculation of the national rate multiplier (or poundage) is set out in the Local Government Finance Act 1988, which specifies the retail prices index for the preceding September. The multiplier for 2000–01 allows for 1.1 per cent. inflation, based on September 1999 RPI.