Speeches, etc.

Margaret Thatcher

Speech to Friern Barnet Ratepayers Association

Document type: Speeches, interviews, etc.
Venue: Friern Barnet Town Hall, Finchley
Source: (1) Finchley Times, 19 February 1960 (2) Finchley Press, 19 February 1960
Editorial comments: Evening?
Importance ranking: Minor
Word count: 699
Themes: Environment, Taxation, Housing, Local government, Local government finance
(1) Finchley Times, 19 February 1960

Mrs. Thatcher On Local ‘Government

The amount of money spent by local authorities in England and Wales totalled fourteen hundred million pounds a year, said Mrs. Margaret Thatcher, M.P. for Finchley, addressing Friern Barnet Ratepayers' Association in the Council Chamber on Monday. Of this sum, she said, £530 million was raised by rates and £620 million by taxation for local authorities.

In addition, the local authorities raise nearly £500 million a year by way of loans.

She was in favour of the abolition of Schedule “A” and said a number of people in Parliament had been campaigning for its abolition. It dated back to 1842, when one could not get at individual incomes and the assessment of property was the only way.

The campaign against Schedule “A” was now getting very strong and if nothing was done about it in the Budget speech, she thought an amendment would be put down to deal with the matter.

On the subject of Town Planning she said 750,000 sets of plans were submitted to local authorities every year. A large number of them were from prospective purchasers, who want to know if their plans would be approved before proceeding to purchase the land.

There were some local authorities where an applicant under town planning had to give public notice locally of his intention, which was of great advantage to owners of nearby property.

Half of her weekly post dealt with housing problems, but she had no powers over the allocation, of local authority housing accommodation.

She said that in 1948 some 100,000 house properties were requisitioned. This led to a good deal of hardship for the people whose houses were requisitioned, and caused a good deal of frustration. By 1955, the number of requisitioned houses was reduced to 55,000, and all were due for de-requisition by March 31.

Some 3000 properties would not be de-requisitioned by this date and a temporary Bill was to be introduced to give 12 months' respite for them to be derestricted. [end p1]

(2) Finchley Press, February 1960

Councils and Public Money

M.P. Talks to Ratepayers

A lucid explanation of the work of local authorities was given by Mrs. Margaret Thatcher, M.P., for Finchley and Friern Barnet, in a talk at the annual general meeting of the Friern Barnet Ratepayers Association, at Friern Barnet Town Hall.

Mrs. Thatcher said that as ratepayers they might be interested to know that in England and Wales, every year, some £1,400 million was spent by local authorities.

About £530,000,000 came from the rates, another £620,000,000 came from Government grants (taxpayers), and the rest was provided by local services. Mrs. Thatcher said that this money was a very important part of the income of the country.

Mrs. Thatcher went on to speak of rating valuations and the differences between the industrial valuation of 1956 and the housing valuation of 1939, over which she said many people got confused.

About ‘Schedule A” tax for owner occupiers, Mrs. Thatcher, said she was fully in agreement with the abolition of this tax, which went back to 1842, and from which the Government get a £100 million a year.

Planning applications were another subject touched on by Mrs. Thatcher. She said they were increasing annually. There were 7,500 appeals to the Minister last year. He allowed 1,587, dismissed 3.343, and 2.238 were withdrawn.

Mrs. Thatcher commented that many people criticised their local authority for not taking “action” over certain matters and the truth was that the local authority could not, even though it would like to do so. Its powers had been set by Parliament.

She sometimes wished she had a block of flats and could parcel them out to every desperate case who wrote in. But she would not wish to “jump the queue” for these people, and had no powers over the local government allocation.

For people, especially young people, with increasing families, she would suggest taking a big step and purchasing property while they were young. There was assistance for them and they had many years ahead of them.