§ Mr. Biggs-Davison
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what he proposes to do in order to protect Essex and other counties that under his predecessor's policy cut their spending below the national average from bearing an unfair impost arising from the recent cut in the needs element of the rate support grant.
§ Mr. Marlow
asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will 239W take into account the past imbalances of the previous Government's allocation of the rate support grant when the rate increase orders are calculated.
§ Mr. King
There is no discretion under the Local Government Act 1974 about the distribution of extra grant made available by an increase order. The needs element of rate support grant that individual authorities receive under a main order has to be increased in the same proportion as the total amount of needs element in the increase order bears to the total amount of needs element in the main order. Similarly the payments of additional resources element under an increase order have to be proportional to authorities' calculated entitlements. The Government are, of course, aware of the non-metropolitan counties' concern about their treatment in recent rate support grant settlements, and will bear this in mind when reaching decisions about future settlements.