HC Deb 05 June 1996 vol 278 c484W
16. Mrs. Lait

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what assessment he has made of the benefits of the current block grant system for the public finances in Scotland; and if he will make a statement. [30087]

Mr. Michael Forsyth

The block and formula arrangements have resulted in a spending level over 35 per cent. higher per head than England.

35. Mr. Stephen

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what was the average expenditure per head by local authorities in Scotland in 1995–96; and what was the United Kingdom average figure. [30108]

Mr. Kynoch

Comprehensive outturn data for 1995–96 are not yet available. However, on the basis of budgeted expenditure data, the relevant Scottish figure is £1,270 and that for Great Britain is £970. A figure for the UK as a whole would not be meaningful because local authorities in Northern Ireland provide a far narrower range of services.

Sir Irvine Patnick

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will make a statement about his review of local authority spending. [30101]

Mr. Kynoch

Our current timetable is to award a contract, or contracts, for the study of local government current expenditure later this month. We hope that the study will be completed by the end of the year and that the results will inform a more rational debate about the levels of local authority expenditure.