§ Mr. Wigley
To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what assessment he has made of the effect on the finances of the National Assembly for Wales, and on council taxes in Wales, of his proposals included in the Statement on Funding Policy for the National Assembly for Wales, that adjustments in respect of council tax benefit subsidy for Wales should be based on relative percentage changes in council tax; and by what means the Barnett Formula will provide the necessary additional funding for Wales for these purposes. 
§ Mr. Michael
[holding answer 30 April 1999]: In future years, local authorities in Wales and the National Assembly will determine the level of local authority self-financed expenditure, including council tax.
The precise effect of council tax benefit subsidy on the finances of the National Assembly will depend on individual local authorities' budgeting decisions and the Assembly's decisions on how and whether to use its reserve powers to control council tax increases. The detailed rules have yet to be finalised, but it is currently estimated that each percentage point difference between the relative change of council tax in Wales and that in England will require a balancing adjustment to the Assembly's Departmental Expenditure Limit of approximately £1 million. Any adjustment to the Assembly's funding in respect of council tax benefit subsidy will not directly effect council tax.