§ Mr. O'Brien
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he has issued guide lines as to how the needs element in the Government grant system is to be applied to local government following the introduction of the poll tax for(a) district councils and (b) parish councils; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Gummer
[holding answer 19 December 1988]: The Government have no plans to introduce a poll tax. No such guidelines have been issued in respect of the needs grant. Under sections 76(1) and 78(1) of the Local Government Finance Act 1988, the needs grant in England will be paid to the collection fund from which both district councils and parishes will draw their income. There will be a single needs assessment encompassing both district and parish functions. The Department is consulting the local authority associations about the basis of distributing needs grant and the papers are in the Library.
§ Mr. Blunkett
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment how many copies have been printed of the pamphlet "You and the Community Charge", and what has been the cost to his Department of producing the pamphlet.
§ Mr. Gummer
[holding answer 19 December 1988]: A total of 100,000 copies have been produced initially, at a cost of approximately £21,500. More will be printed if demand warrants it.