§ 11. Mr. J. E. B. Hill
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science to what extent local education authorities are succeeding in restricting the increase in their educational expenditure to 3½ per cent. in real terms above 1968–69; and within what percentage increase over the current year it is his policy that they should keep in 1970–71.
§ Mr. Edward Short
It is too early to say just how much local authorities spent on education in 1969–70. As for 1970–71, the rate support grant settlement in 1968 envisaged educational expenditure being about 3¾ per cent. higher than in 1969–70, in real terms.
§ Mr. Hill
Is it not apparent that, even if the figures cannot be measured, the local education authorities have had to go way above the limit? Can the Minister say whether he expects them to be able to keep to that limit in the current year and employ all the trained teachers coming forward in order to continue the struggle to get class numbers down without making further cuts elsewhere in the education services?
§ 16. Mr. Molloy
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what has been the total gross expenditure on education over the past five years; and what was the figure for the previous five years.
§ Mr. Edward Short
In the five years ending in 1968–69 expenditure on education in Great Britain amounted to £9,000 million. In the previous five years the total was nearly £5,350 million.
§ Mr. Molloy
Does my right hon. Friend agree that this must be of tremendous encouragement to all who devote their lives and skills to education? 729 Furthermore, is it not proof positive of the Government carrying out their philosophy to see that education is given its right priority for the future well-being of our nation?
§ Sir H. Harrison
Does the right hon. Gentleman agree that these figures are rather misleading in view of the great inflation which has taken place under this Government?