§ Mr. Alfred Morris
asked the Prime Minister, further to her reply of 12 December, Official Report, column 709, whether she will estimate the costs associated with breaking down the Government's annual public expenditure plans by reference to each English region.
§ The Prime Minister
Most public expenditure is planned on a national basis as detailed in the Government's Expenditure Plans 1986–87 to 1988–89 (Cmnd. 9702). For Government Departments whose spending benefits the country as a whole, it would not be meaningful to plan expenditure by region; the costs of attempting to do so would be high but cannot be precisely quantified. For those public services which are implemented by local government, detailed budgets covering the relevant areas are drawn up by the responsible authorities and details of regional spending by health authorities are available in the annual Health Estimates.
Estimates of past levels of spending by these authorities, grouped on a regional basis, are published in the Central Statistical Office publication Regional Trends, along with central Government regional aid to industry. Estimates are also included of past expenditure on certain social security benefits by regions. The information is given in tables 4.3, 6.2, 8.9 and 10.1 of the 1985 edition of Regional Trends.