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Volume 893: debated on Tuesday 17 June 1975

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asked the Secretary of State for Social Services what is the anticipated effect on the provisions made under the Chronically Sick and Disabled Persons Act of the proposed cut in capital expenditure for 1976–77.

My right hon. Friend is at present discussing with local authorities provisional lists of schemes for which loan approval can be given in 1975–76. This will affect capital expenditure in 1976–77. It has been made clear that my right hon. Friend is concerned to give authorities the greatest possible freedom to determine their own capital priorities within overall resources constraint. There is at present no information about the way in which authorities will make their decisions next year. I am, however, confident that they are well seized of the needs of disabled people and, in particular, of the need to ensure that the younger disabled are suitably accommodated. As regards hospitals, my right hon. Friend has not yet made allocations of capital expenditure to health authorities for 1976–77.