HC Deb 24 March 1960 vol 620 cc660-1
29. Mr. Boyden

asked the Minister of Education what was the amount expended by local education authorities on loan charges in the year ended 31st March, 1959; what percentage this was of the total amount raised from rates for education purposes; and how these figures compare with those for the year ended 31st March, 1951.

Sir D. Eccles

Loan charges were taken into account in calculating the education grant and in assessing the general grant. Therefore they do not all fall on the rates. In 1950–51 the expenditure of local education authorities (other than on school meals and milk) was £220 million, of which £96 million was on loan charges; 37.3 per cent. of all this expenditure fell on the rates. In 1958–59 the corresponding figures were £5212 million and £45.8 million; the proportion falling on the rates was 35.5 per cent.

Mr. Boyden

Is the right hon. Gentleman not aware that this amount falling on the rates was equivalent to the total aid to pupils and students, the cost of training teachers and of the school medical service? Does he not think it is time to use his influence to get the loan charges to local authorities reduced?

Sir D. Eccles

All these things are taken into consideration when the general rate is assessed.

Mr. Anthony Greenwood

Are we to take it from what the right hon. Gentleman has said that he accepts the contention that a large number of increases in the rates, which may be necessary in the near future, will be due to high interest charges following upon the Government's financial policy?

Sir D. Eccles

The difference in the two figures I gave is due not so much to high interest charges as to the fact that very little school building was done in the years immediately following the war.

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