HC Deb 03 March 1983 vol 38 cc219-20W
Mr. Roy Hughes

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what representations he has received that the national insurance surcharge paid by local authorities be the same as that paid by private employers; what reply he has sent; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Giles Shaw

My right hon. Friend has received a number of representations about the higher rate of national insurance surcharge payable by local government in 1982–83 and 1983–84, and about its implications for direct labour organisations. Both aspects have been discussed with the local authority associations. On the first, my right hon. Friend has emphasised that the arrangement is temporary and is designed to meet the Government's objective that the public sector should not benefit from the reduced rate of surcharge. On the second, an assurance has been given that, in comparing the DLO tender with those received from private contractors, until the end of 1983–84 a local authority may discount from the DLO tender price the amount that it can, in advance, satisfy its external auditor is properly attributable to the differential in the rate of surcharge payable by the DLO and by private contractors.