HC Deb 11 January 1990 vol 164 cc701-2W
Mr. Simon Hughes

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will make a statement on the increased volume of underspending on education support grants 1988–89 shown in Class XII Vote 1; and what changes have been made for 1989–90 and 1990–91.

Mr. Alan Howarth

The size of each year's Vote for education support grants (ESGs) depends not on the overall total for that year's ESG programme, but rather on the amount of grant still to be paid in respect of previous years' ESG programmes as well as the amount expected to be paid within the financial year on the current year's programme. The size of the underspend on a given year's Vote will reflect both the success of local education authorities in submitting grant claims promptly, and the size of successive ESG programmes. To increase the proportion of grant paid during the financial year in which the expenditure is incurred, authorites will from this year on be invited to submit, before the end of the financial year in question, a claim for expenditure incurred during the last quarter, 50 per cent. of which may be paid before the year end.

Mr. Simon Hughes

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will publish a list of those local education authorities which, in respect of education support grant claims for 1988–89(a) have claimed significantly less than the maximum allocated amount for that year or (b) have not yet made either final claims for all quarters of 1987–88 or a provisional end-of-year claim, showing for each of (a) and (b) the amount underspent or apparently unclaimed.

Mr. Alan Howarth

It is for individual local education authorities to determine whether they wish to claim all the education support grant (ESG) allocated to them. Among the 90 authorities in England who have to date submitted final claims for the 1988–89 programme, the average rate of claim is over 90 per cent. of expenditure approved. But 15 of those authorities have claimed grant on less than 85 per cent. of expenditure approved. The details are:

Amount of approved expenditure not spent
Barnet 132,138
Enfield 268,731
Haringey 156,627
Newham 160,300
Birmingham 417,246
Walsall 152,365
Sefton 241,707

Tameside 146,750
Wigan 286,400
South Tyneside 257,770
Berkshire 394,718
Buckinghamshire 299,131
Devon 427,668
Kent 591,877
Lincolnshire 235,627

In addition, seven local education authorities have not yet submitted a final claim. They are:

Amount of approved expenditure on which grant has not yet been claimed
Local education authorities £
Merton 97,459
Waltham Forest 175,655
Leeds 392,800
Hertfordshire 765,707
Norfolk 367,590
Northamptonshire 999,860
Oxfordshire 384,519

All authorities have now submitted final claims for 1987–88.