HC Deb 18 February 1907 vol 169 cc558-9

I beg to ask the Secretary for Scotland whether his attention has been drawn to the fact that the grant for police pay and clothing to counties and boroughs in Scotland, which provided 45.3 per cent. of the total cost in 1900, now only provides 39.5 per cent.; whether the corresponding grant in England is 50 per cent. of the cost; will he explain why the grant in England increases with the number of men employed, whereas it is stationary in Scotland; and what steps he proposes to take to remedy this inequality of treatment of Scottish ratepayers.


My attention has been called to this matter; the progressive reduction in the rate per cent. of the Government contribution to the cost of the pay and clothing of the police arises from the fact that while England and Scotland are treated with equality in the apportionment of the total sums assigned for local purposes to the two countries respectively, there are differences in the method of allocation of these sums. In the case of Scotland the total amount to be distributed in aid of the cost of pay and clothing of police is fixed at £180,000 per annum, and the rate per £ of expenditure which this grant can pay must go down as the aggregate police expenditure rises; the balance available in general relief of rates is not affected. In the case of England, the statutes direct a grant of 10s. per £ to be paid towards police expenditure, but this necessarily involves that as police expenditure goes up there is a smaller residue available for other local services.