§ Dr. Godman
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what is the total amount to date which has been withheld from (a) all local authorities, (b) local authorities in the Strathclyde region and (c) the Inverclyde district council in the form of penalties imposed by the Government on councils for spending in excess of stipulated amounts.
§ Mr. Ancram
The information is set out below. General abatement of rate support grant was first used in 1976–77. Prior to 1982–83 abatements were made by withholding a lump sum of rate support grant which would otherwise have been paid to all authorities at the increase order stage. The effect on individual authorities was not specified but all authorities lost grant proportionately. From 1982–83 grant reductions have been related to overspending with reductions in the amounts paid to individual authorities being specified. In addition selective action under section 5 of the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1966 reduced the rate support grant payable to those authorities affected for 1981–82 by £31.3 million.
Scotland Local authorities in Strathclyde Region Inverclyde District Council £ million £ million £ million 1976–77 5.0 — — 1979–80 36.5 — — 1980–81 50.0 — — 1981–82 27.0 — — 1982–83 22.2 13.8 0.0 1983–84 27.6 15.9 0.0 1984–85 62.2 35.9 0.0 1985–86 126.6 78.5 0.0
1. Of the £50 million in 1980–81, £15 million affected the rate support grant settlement for 1980–81; £20 million affected the settlement for 1981–82 and £15 million for 1982–83.
2. In 1982–83 and 1983–84 grant abatements were made according to the individual authority's share of rate support grant although arrangements were made to protect authorities spending within guideline at outturn. Since 1984–85 penalties have been directly related to overspending current expenditure guidelines with no penalties for authorities spending within guideline.
3. The figures for the years to 1982–83 are final; those for 1983–84 and 1984–85 are based on near final expenditure; and those for 1985–86 are based on budgets.
§ Dr. Godman
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what is the total amount of capital receipts which (a) all local authorities, (b) local authorities in the Strathclyde region and (c) the Inverclyde district council are currently prevented from spending because of the current regulations regarding such spending.
§ Mr. Ancram
None. All Scottish local authorities are entitled to augment their capital spending power, controlled by my right hon. and learned Friend under section 94 of the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1973, by the full amount of any capital receipts they raise.