HC Deb 21 March 1923 vol 161 cc2591-2W

asked the Under-Secretary to the Scottish Board of Health what is the total expenditure of Scottish local authorities on unemployed relief work schemes; how much of this is represented by State grant, and how much will have to be borne by the rates; what is the total sum borrowed by the local authorities in respect of these schemes; and what is the amount to be repaid in respect of same?

Captain ELLIOT

The total expenditure incurred or to be incurred by local authorities in Scotland on unemployment relief work schemes approved by the Unemployment Grants Committee in the period of two years down to the 15th March, 1923, is approximately £3,719,000. Of this, £1,512,000 represents schemes financed out of revenue towards which a contribution of approximately £300,000 is payable by the State. £2,206,000 represents schemes financed by loans. As regards schemes, amounting to a total of £1,816,000, the Government contribution will be a payment of 65 per cent. of interest and sinking fund charges for 15 years, or half the term of the loan. On the remaining schemes, amounting to £390,000, the contribution will be a payment of 50 per cent. of the interest charges for five years. Grants from the Road Fund have been promised to Scottish local authorities in connection with road schemes which have been expedited during the year 1922–23, in view of the presence of unemployment, up to an amount of £372,000, the total estimated cost of such schemes being £773,000. Having regard to the varying conditions with respect to the grants—and more particularly in the case of loan schemes—it is not practicable to furnish at this date a reliable estimate of the probable charge on the rates in respect of the schemes. The money required for the purpose of financing loan schemes is raised by the local authorities from time to time as the work proceeds, and it is not possible to state the exact amount borrowed at this date, but the information given as to the estimated expenditure on the schemes will, it is hoped, be sufficient for the hon. Member's purpose.