Powergen sold a property to Edison. Powergen had paid rates under a separate statutory rating regime, and paid an additional thirteen million pounds under an apportionment. Edison later complained that in being rated itself, the authorities had collected rates twice for the same property. It challenged the legality of the order under which the rates had first been collected form the vendor.
Held: There is a strong presumption against double rating. Sums of money appeared to have been collected twice. However the bases of the two collections were different. The one was under ordinary rating law, and the other by special statutory provision. The presumption against double taxation is rebuttable. The idea of payments in lieu of rates was introduced by the 1948 Act, and complex formulae were applied. The ESI Order was not ultra vires.
Lord Millett said: ‘The courts will presume that Parliament did not intend a statute to have consequences which are objectionable or undesirable; or absurd; or unworkable or impracticable; or merely inconvenient; or anomalous or illogical; or futile or pointless. But the strength of these presumptions depends on the degree to which a particular construction produces an unreasonable result. The more unreasonable a result, the less likely it is that Parliament intended it …’
Lord Bingham of Cornhill, Lord Steyn, Lord Hoffmann, Lord Millett, Lord Scott of Foscote
 UKHL 20,  4 All ER 209,  RA 325,  16 EGCS 101,  16 EG 101,  2 EGLR 133
House of Lords, Bailii
Local Government Finance Act 1988 41ff, Electricity Supply Industry (Rateable Values) Order 1994 (SI 1994/3282), Local Government Act 1948, Electricity Supply Industry (Rateable Values) Order 1989 (SI 1989 No. 2475)
England and Wales
Appeal from – Edison First Power Ltd v The Secretary of State for Department of Environment Transport and the Regions CA 12-Jul-2001
Cited – Regina v Special Commissioner And Another, ex parte Morgan Grenfell and Co Ltd HL 16-May-2002
The inspector issued a notice requiring production of certain documents. The respondents refused to produce them, saying that they were protected by legal professional privilege.
Held: Legal professional privilege is a fundamental part of . .
Cited – Stradling v Morgan 1560
There is a wide common sense principle of the construction of statutes by which courts will imply qualifications into the literal meaning of wide and general words in order to prevent them from having some unreasonable consequence which it is . .
Cited – Smith and Son v Lambeth Assessment Committee 1882
The law presumes that only one person shall be liable to pay rates on a property at any one time. . .
Cited – Westminster City Council v Southern Railway Co HL 1936
Subject to special enactments, people are treated as occupiers of land, land being understood as including not only the surface of the earth but all strata above or below. The occupier, not the land, is rateable; but the occupier is rateable in . .
Cited – Brook v National Coal Board 1975
Cited – Regina v Inland Revenue Commissioners, Ex parte Woolwich Equitable Building Society HL 25-Oct-1990
The society challenged the validity of transitional provisions in the 1986 regulations on the ground that they were ultra vires. The House considered the specific presumption against double taxation, and also a power in general terms to make . .
Cited – Kingston Union v Metropolitan Water Board HL 1926
The principle for valuation of properties for rating was to estimate ‘the rent at which the hereditaments might reasonably be expected to let from year to year’. But in applying that principle, so simple in appearance, to certain classes of . .
Cited – Milford Haven Conservancy Board v Inland Revenue Commissioners CA 1976
The Minister had power to make provision by order for determining rateable values ‘by such method as may be so specified’. The formula prescribed by the Minister for dock undertakings was based on 4% of their receipts, including receipts from some . .
At First Instance – Regina (ex parte Edison First Power Limited v Secretary of State for Environment, Transport, Same v Central Valuation Officer Admn 31-Mar-2000
At CA – Edison First Power Ltd v Secretary of State for Environment, Transport and Regions CA 12-Jul-2001
Cited – Jackson and others v Attorney General HL 13-Oct-2005
The applicant sought to challenge the 2004 Hunting Act, saying that it had been passed under the provisions of the 1949 Parliament Act which was itself an unlawful extension of the powers given by the 1911 Parliament Act to allow the House of . .
Cited – North Somerset District Council v Honda Motor Europe Ltd and Others QBD 2-Jul-2010
Deleayed Rates Claims Service made them Defective
The council claimed that the defendants were liable for business rates. The defendants said that the notices were defective in not having been served ‘as soon as practicable’, and further that they should not be enforced since the delay had created . .
Cited – Shahid v Scottish Ministers (Scotland) SC 14-Oct-2015
The appellant convicted of a racially-aggravated vicious murder. Since conviction he had spent almost five years in segregation from other prisoners. The appellant now alleged that some very substantial periods of segregation had been in breach of . .
Cited – McCool, Regina v SC 2-May-2018
The appellants complained that the recovery order made against them in part under the transitional provisions were unlawful. They had claimed benefits as single people but were married to each other and for a house not occupied. The difficulty was . .
Dictum Approved – Gumbs v Attorney General Of Anguilla PC 7-Jul-2009
Anguilla – whether there is a public right of way, and, if there is, the extent of that way, over a parcel of land at Little Bay, Anguilla. . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.
Updated: 05 December 2021; Ref: scu.180698