Below is the text of Mr Major’s written Parliamentary Answer on Rating Reform on 11th March 1988.
Dr. Cunningham To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer when and in what form he plans to make announcements about future levels of the national non-domestic rate; and when he proposes to exercise his power, or indicate that he will not exercise his power, to set the national non-domestic rate multiplier under the proposed amendments to the Local Government Finance Bill.
Mr. Major [holding answer 10 March 1988]: Under provisions of the Local Government Finance Bill now before Parliament, the Government will, in 1990, set NNDR multipliers in England and Wales so as to produce the same yield of business rates in each country as if the rate poundages set by local authorities in 1989 had been indexed to the retail prices index and there had been no revaluation. In subsequent years, the presumption will be that indexation of the NNDR multipliers to the RPI provided for in the Bill will take place.
Equivalent provisions are already in the Abolition of Domestic Rates Etc. (Scotland) Act. If, however, I decide to use powers in the proposed amendments to increase the NNDR multipliers by less than the RPI in any year, an announcement would be made before the RSG reports for that year had been approved by Parliament.