§ Dawn Primarolo:
Government grant to local authorities has increased over the period since 1997. Overall there has been a 25 per cent. real increase in total grants since 1997, compared with a 7 per cent. Cut in real terms in the four years previously. Most recently, the Local Government Financial Settlement for 2003–04 increased local authority funding through Formula Grant by 5.9 per cent. In real terms. Including other grants, the increase is over 8 per cent. For the first time, every local authority has generated above inflation increases this year.
It is in this context that local authorities have made their decisions about the level of council tax they wish to set in their areas.
The figures requested are shown in the table:
Council tax £billion Cash Real terms
1996–97 10.1 11.5 2001–02 15.2 15.2 2002–03 16.6 16.2