§ Mr. Harry Greenway
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what was the average increase in local authority spending in Scotland in each of the past two years; and if he will make a statement.
§ Lord James Douglas-Hamilton
Local authority spending in Scotland showed an average increase of 8.3 per cent. in 1988–89 and a budgeted increase of 10.9 per cent. in 1989–90.
Local authorities have been warned that they cannot expect such increases to be endorsed through corresponding increases in central Government support. If they persist with such overspending it will lead inevitably to higher community charges for which they will be responsible and answerable to their local electorates.