HC Deb 25 January 1982 vol 16 cc253-4W
Mr. Nicholas Winterton

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will restore rate support grant to local authorities, other than the Greater London Council, which have incurred deficits as a result of uneconomic transport fares policies; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. King

The rate support grant entitlements of authorities depend on the parameters set out in rate support grant reports approved by Parliament and on the expenditure decisions of the authorities themselves. If other authorities besides the Greater London Council revise their total expenditure in the current year on transport or any other services, their grant entitlements will therefore automatically change. In order to avoid continuous recalculation of payments revised expenditure information from authorities is only taken into account at periodic intervals.

The recalculation of grant payments for 1981–82 to follow the forthcoming supplementary report will take account of revisions of authorities' expenditure plans received up to 20 October 1981 and the recent revision of the Greater London Council's budget. We have not so far received any formal information about other authorities reviewing their expenditure in the current year in respect of their transport fares policies. If there are any such revisions they will therefore have to await the next periodic recalculation of the grant entitlements for 1981–82.