HC Deb 03 February 1961 vol 633 cc166-7W
Mr. Oram

asked the Minister of Housing and Local Government and Minister for Welsh Affairs (1) whether he is aware that for some local authorities his revised figures for transitional receipts under the Local Government Act, 1958, fall short of the amounts notified in January, 1959, and again in January, 1960, as being receivable in the ensuing years; and whether he will state the reasons for the discrepancy now revealed in the original estimates;

(2) what steps he proposes to take to mitigate the effect on the finances of some local authorities of the lower revised figures now notified of transitional receipts receivable under the Local Government Act, 1958;

(3) whether he will publish the revised amounts of transitional receipts notified to all rating authorities; and whether he will indicate how these figures compare with the original estimates.

Mr. Brooke:

The revised receipts and payments differ from those previously notified because they are based on a second estimate of gains and losses using the latest available figures, including the latest estimates by the local authorities of expenditure, rate product, etc., for the year 1957–58, in place of those which they supplied in 1958. The best estimates of gains and losses must be used for the final calculation of receipts and payments for each year of the transitional period.

An adjustment in 1961–62 for the second estimate for the years 1959–150 and 1960–61 would have resulted in excessive fluctuations in rate poundages. I have therefore decided to postpone the adjustment for those years. I propose to have further consultations with the associations of local authorities about timing.

The receipts of the losing authorities were £6,880,657 for 1959–60 and £6,192,591 for 1960–61. The revised amounts of the receipts are £6,769,164 and £6,092,248 respectively. I regret I do not consider that the expense of publishing individual figures for nearly 1,500 authorities would be justified, but I shall be ready to provide figures for any rating authority on request.