§ Mr. Patrick Jenkin
I have laid before Parliament today the Rate Support Grant Supplementary Report (No. 2) 1983–84. This report adjusts local authorities' block grant entitlements to reflect the latest estimates of the level of interest rates in 1983–84. At the time of the 1983–84 rate support grant settlement it was assumed that interest rates payable by local authorities would be about 11.5 per cent., and block grant calculations were based on that figure. In the event the Government's economic policy has succeeded in bringing interest rates down during the year and the latest estimate is 10.85 per cent. As a result, local authorities have been overpaid, and an adjustment is now necessary to reflect this. The reduction in the total of block grant of £8,449 million is £44 million, or 0.52 per cent., which will be shared out between all authorities. This is equivalent to a reduction of less than3/4 of a penny rate. The report is subject to the approval of the House and I hope it will be debated later this month.
My Department is sending a copy of the report, and tables showing revised grant entitlements, to every local authority and to the local authority associations.