§ Mrs. Peacock
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment whether he has any proposals which would reduce the levies of the residuary bodies in the metropolitan areas for 1986–87.
§ Mr. Kenneth Baker
I have received representations that steps should be taken to prevent the concentration of staff compensation costs in the first year from falling on the levies. I accept that argument. I have already announced that the residuary bodies may use the balances of the outgoing authorities to make compensation payments in 1986–87. If there are areas where balances alone are insufficient for the purpose, I am prepared to allow the residuary bodies to use the proceeds of the sale of surplus assets. In order that the residuary bodies may be certain that sufficient finance will be available for these payments without recourse to the levy, I will undertake now that if neither balances nor capital receipts suffice I will approve the requisite amount of additional borrowing by the residuary bodies in 1986–87.