§ 35. Mr. Madel
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment how much grant Bedfordshire county council has lost for the year 1987–88 as a result of (a) increasing its expenditure for that year above the level his Department had assumed of 5.25 per cent. on current expenditure and (b) increasing its expenditure for that year above the rate of inflation; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Chope
Bedfordshire county council's grant entitlement for 1987–88 amounts to £37.2 million at the level of expenditure we estimate it has budgeted for. This is £8.2 million less than it would have received if it spent at the settlement spending assumption—that is a 5.25 per cent. increase on current expenditure—and £9.9 million less than if it had increased expenditure in line with inflation. These entitlements and Bedforshire's budget include the estimated effects of the teachers' pay deal.
It is Bedfordshire county council's decision to increase expenditure by 12.0 per cent. including additional expenditure arising from the teachers' pay deal, which has resulted in the reduced grant entitlement. The resulting 21.3 per cent. increase in its precept is the highest of any shire county. If Bedfordshire had budgeted in line with the 552W settlement spending assumption adjusted for teachers' pay, its precept increase would have been lower than the average shire county increase of 7.9 per cent.