§ Mr. Keith Best
asked the Secretary of State for Wales whether he will take steps to persuade Welsh local authorities to moderate their 1986–87 budget and rating proposals.
§ Mr. Nicholas Edwards
I am disappointed that the proposals announced by the Welsh councils markedly exceed the forecast level of inflation. As the local authorities understand, spending in excess of the settlement provision brings with it penalties in the form of reduced grant entitlement and hence increased rates. I shall shortly be discussing the situation with the Welsh local authority associations and I hope that as a result the proposals so far announced will be moderated before final decisions are taken.