§ Baroness Hamwee
asked Her Majesty's Government:
Whether in the light of their Written Answer (HC Deb. 17 February col. 845) announcing the revision of the provisional capping criteria applying to the metropolitan fire and civil defence authorities, there is any mechanism by which an authority which set its budget to take account of the original criteria may take account of the revised criteria and thereby increase its budget, and, if not, whether the Government will set the provisional criteria for those authorities for 1996– 97 as if those authorities had set budgets for 1995– 96, following the announcement of the revision.
§ The Minister of State, Department of the Environment (Viscount Ullswater):
Under the provisions of the Local Government Finance Act 1992, once an authority has set its budget it cannot subsequently set a substitute budget at a higher level unless the first budget has been quashed. Decisions about the provisional capping criteria for 1996– 97 will not be taken until later in the year. We would be happy to consider representations from the metropolitan county fire and civil defence authorities at that point.