§ Mr. Denham
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, pursuant to his answer of 15 December,Official Report, column 99, what assessment he has made of the revenue forgone by each local authority as a result of council tax exemption for student-only dwellings; how the revenue support grant system provides specific compensation for revenue forgone by local authorities as a result of student-only dwellings from the council tax; and what amounts have been provided from the revenue support grant for 1993–94 in this respect for each county, district and metropolitan borough council.
§ Mr. Robin Squire
The revenue foregone by each local authority as a result of council tax exemption for student-only dwellings cannot be calculated until authorities have set their council taxes.662W
The revenue support grant system does not provide specific compensation for loss of revenue resulting from the exemption of student-only dwellings. The calculation of revenue support grant for individual authorities involves an assessment of the amount that each authority can raise through council taxes, based upon its local taxbase. The taxbase, and the local government finance settlement generally, takes into account, among other things, exemptions of student-only dwellings. There is no merit in speculating about the amounts of revenue support grant that would have been provided if a different system, without exemption of student-only dwellings, had applied.