§ Mr. Maurice Macmillan
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will give an assurance that there were no major injustices perpetrated in the distribution of the rate support and other Government grants to local authorities in 1978, given that approaching 40 per cent. of the formula used to govern the distribution was based upon statistical material over seven years old; and what steps he intends to take to update some of the statistics involved before the distributions for 1979 are made.
§ Mr. Shore
No authority has represented to me that it has suffered a major injustice as a result of the use of factors based on the 1971 census in distributing rate support grant in 1978–79. I accept the need for up-to-date data wherever possible. We are constantly seeking to limit the dependency of the factors used in the national rate support grant distribution on ageing data, but it is still too early to specify the factors to be used for 1979–80, since consultations with the local authority associations are still proceeding.