HC Deb 14 March 1963 vol 673 cc1521-2
32. Mr. Ross

asked the President of the Board of Trade by how much the actual expenditure incurred under the Local Employment Act in 1962–63 will be less than the estimate of £41 millions; and what are the comparable figures for Scotland.

Mr. Erroll

Expenditure under the Local Employment Act for the 11 months ended 28th February, 1963, amounted to £18.4 million, of which £11.1 million was in respect of Scotland. No separate estimate of expenditure by country was made.

Mr. Ross

Is it not rather startling that we expected to spend £41 million and we spent £18 million? If we take the figures in respect of Scotland proportionately, there is just as startling and disastrous a drop. Does not this show how ineffective the Government's policy is in relying on the Local Employment Act? When the need is greatest we spend less and less. Will the right hon. Gentleman tell us how much was loaned and how much was granted in respect of the £18 million and the £11.1 million in respect of Scotland?

Mr. Erroll

If the hon. Member puts down a Question on those lines I will do my best to provide the information which he wants. In answer to the first part of his supplementary question, what this shows is how carefully and scrupulously we try to produce estimates for the House. We put down our estimates on the basis of what we knew at the time. At the time that the estimate was prepared we did not know that a number of the applications would not be proceeded with, nor did we then know that some projects would go ahead more slowly, partly because of bad weather and partly for other reasons.