§ Mr. Roderick
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science if she will issue instructions to local education authorities to the effect that, when they calculate the net income of a parent for purposes of assessing grants to students, they should deduct rents in the same way as they do mortgage interest.
§ Mr. St. John-Stevas
No. The deductions which may be set against parental income in general follow the reliefs given for income tax purposes. My right hon. Friend sees no reason for changing these arrangements.
§ Mr. John E B. Hill
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science whether she will relieve local authorities of some of their responsibility for mandatory awards made by local education authorities to students taking first degree and comparable courses and for awards to students taking courses of teacher training.
§ Mrs. Thatcher
The Government have decided that, with effect from the financial year 1974–75, expenditure on mandatory and teacher training awards in England and Wales made under Sections 1(1) and 2(3) of the Education Act 1962 respectively will attract specific grant of 90 per cent. from central Government and will be removed from the scope of rate support grant. This means that local authorities who now find approximately 40 per cent. of the cost of these awards will, in future, bear only 10 per cent. As indicated in the consultative document sent to local authority associations by my right hon. and learned Friend the Secretary of State for the Environment the Government will introduce legislation in the near future to give156W effect to this decision. This change in the financial arrangements will not affect the administration of these awards which will still rest with the local education authorities.