HC Deb 16 February 1984 vol 54 cc313-4W
Mr. Haselhurst

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what has been the change in cost terms in expenditure on education and science between 1978–79 and 1983–84; what further change he expects between the current year and next; and how these figures compare with changes in the school population.

Sir Keith Joseph

Table 1.14 of the public expenditure White Paper published today (Cmnd. 9143) shows that in cost terms, as measured by the GDP deflator, expenditure on education and science has increased by about 1 per cent. over the last five years. This compares with a fall of about 12 per cent. in the school population.

The same table shows a reduction of about 7 per cent. in cost terms between this year and next. But on grounds of realism the Government have provided a margin in 1984–85 of £660 million for local authority expenditure which is included in the planning total and the total of targets for individual local authorities but has not been allocated to programmes. Some of this margin, as in 1983–84, will no doubt be spent on education. When allowance is made for this factor, which is explained in paragraph 7 of chapter 2.10 of Cmnd. 9143, it is likely that the reduction will be much less than 7 per cent. The school population will fall by over 2 per cent. between 1983–84 and 1984–85.