HC Deb 17 December 1968 vol 775 c1138
1. Mr. Evelyn King

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government by how much the amount of Government grants to Dorset County Council will differ this year as compared with the year 1967–68.

The Joint Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Housing and Local Government (Mr. Arthur Skeffington)

The first estimate of the rate support grants payable to Dorset County Council for 1968–69 amounts to £8,597,532, an increase of no less than £572,182 or 7.1 per cent. over the latest estimate for 1967–68. Corresponding figures for specific revenue grants and capital grants are not yet available.

Mr. King

Would not the hon. Gentleman accept that, in the light of built-in increases, this will be insufficient to maintain existing standards? Is it the Government's policy to force up rates within the county?

Mr. Skeffington

I do not accept that the grants are not sufficient. Indeed, they are very generous. I think that, in the circumstances, the people in the county will applaud what the Government have done.