§ Mr. Goodlad
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what would be the extra contribution to local authority expenditure in Cheshire in 1977–78 if the rate support grant were calculated on the basis proposed for 1974–75 in the White Paper issued in January 1974, Command Paper No. 5532.
§ Mr. Guy Barnett
The eventual distribution of the needs element of RSG in 1974–75 followed the formula proposed in Cmnd. 5532, and gave Cheshire 1.66 per cent. of the total grant. The same share of the grant prescribed in the main RSG Order for 1977–78 would have increased Cheshire's entitlement by about £4.5 million. However, it should be remembered that the needs formula for grant distribution is recalculated each year to take account of the changing patterns of expenditure need. Since payments of the resources element depend partly on rate poundages, no assessment of entitlements for 1977–78, whether on an actual or alternative basis, can yet be made.
Cmnd. 5532 proposed a scheme of variable domestic relief for those areas with 458W above average rate increases between 1973–74 and 1974–75. It would not be possible to calculate the effect of a similar scheme for 1977–78, but if the proposed scheme had been implemented for 1974–75 only two districts in Cheshire would have received relief in excess of the current national figure of 18.5p.