HC Deb 03 July 1986 vol 100 cc596-7W
Mr. Wareing

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what amount of interest accrued to Her Majesty's Government as a result of payments being withheld from Liverpool city council during the period when that local authority delayed fixing a rate; and if this accrued interest was credited to the Liverpool city council on the final settlement of its rate.

Mrs. Rumbold

It is not possible to give a figure since the calculation would depend on hypothetical assumptions about how central Government's financing would have been carried out in other circumstances.

Mr. Wareing

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what is the total sum of money withheld by Her Majesty's Government from the Liverpool city council as a consequence of that local authority's delay in fixing a rate for 1985–86; and if he will make a statement.

Mrs. Rumbold

Payment of some £8.2 million was held back because of the city council's delay in setting a rate in 1985–86.

Four central Government grants should not be paid before a rating authority has fixed its rate. These are:

  1. (i) rate rebate subsidy;
  2. (ii) grants towards rate relief for disabled persons and institutions;
  3. (iii) compensation to local authorities for loss of rate income in enterprise zones; and
  4. (iv) contributions in lieu of rates on Crown and diplomatic properties.

Payment of some £8.2 million of these grants to Liverpool city council was delayed in 1985–86 until after the council set a rate on 14 June.