HC Deb 05 March 1997 vol 291 cc901-2
14. Mr. David Marshall

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will make a statement on public expenditure in Glasgow. [17326]

Mr. Kynoch

Public expenditure per head in Scotland is about 25 per cent. higher than in England, and Glasgow benefits significantly as a result.

Mr. Marshall

The Minister totally ignores the stark reality of the crisis facing the city of Glasgow. Will he be honest and tell us what he expects will be the cumulative effect of substantial cuts in the budgets of Scottish Homes in relation to Glasgow, of Glasgow city council, of the Glasgow development agency and of the Greater Glasgow health board? What effect will all those cuts have on the health and well-being of the citizens of Glasgow? What does he intend to do to help the city in his last few weeks as a Minister?

Mr. Kynoch

The hon. Gentleman should be addressing some of his comments to Glasgow city council. My hon. Friend the Housing Minister just mentioned some of the prioritisation that is going on in Glasgow at present. Incidentally, I should say, for the benefit of the hon. Member for Gordon (Mr. Bruce), who said that Laurencekirk was not getting a school, that it successfully obtained it through the challenge fund today—a fact which I thought he might welcome.

The hon. Member for Glasgow, Shettleston (Mr. Marshall) is being totally unrealistic about the situation in Glasgow, where Glasgow city council is seeking to create the impression that an increase in spending ability is a cut. The sooner those councillors—who appear to be the sort of people who are likely to put themselves forward as prospective candidates for a tax-raising parliament in Scotland if the Labour party were ever to come to power—get their priorities right and think of the people of Glasgow first, not themselves, the better for the people of Glasgow.