§ Mr. Tilley
asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what estimate he has made of the scale of the reduction in services to the disabled caused by cuts in local authority social services budgets.
§ Mr. Newton
Personal social services expenditure by local authorities grew in real terms, by some 7 per cent. between 1978–79 and 1981–82, and they have budgeted for a further increase of around 2 per cent. this year. The relative priority given to different services is for local authorities themselves to determine in the light of local circumstances, but we have asked them to protect the needs of the most vulnerable, including the severely disabled.