§ Mr. Wigley
asked the Secretary of State for Wales what was the Government's assumption for the percentage increase in pay within local government services in Wales when the rate support grant settlement for 1985–86 was first published; and what is his latest estimate of the increase in pay within local government in Wales for the same period.
§ Mr. Mark Robinson
The Government do not make specific assumptions about pay for local authority employees. If local authorities, as employers, concede excessive pay settlements, they cannot expect the Government to provide additional resources. Pay awards should not lead automatically to higher spending nor should they result in higher rate bills. Councils should seek to absorb any additional costs through better use of resources and by achieving better value for money. The increase in expenditure on pay during 1985–86 will not be known until authorities submit their revenue outturn returns later this year.
§ Mr. Wigley
asked the Secretary of State for Wales what correction he has published following the error contained in his briefing notes for editors (Ref. FD/S/40/D7) published by his Department in relation to the rate support grant settlement of 18 December 1985, which wrongly calculated the potential for rate reduction in the Arfon area.
§ Mr. Nicholas Edwards
The rating projections for Arfon contained in the Briefing Note for editors issued in relation to the 1986–87 rate support grant settlement did not take full account of the increase in rateable value resulting from the opening of Dinorwic power station. Allowing for this gives a projected rate increase of 1.6 per cent., if the authority spends 5 per cent. more than this year.