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Local Government Finance

Volume 955: debated on Thursday 3 August 1978

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asked the Secretary of State for the Environment how much less resources would have been available to London local authorities if clawback had removed 100 per cent. of London's rate support grant resources advantage in 1978–79.

London would have received about £500 million less needs element assuming no "safety net" to protect authorities from excessive grant losses. Such a result would of course be quite inconceivable.

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what arrangements he has made for the confidentiality of the working papers of the Consultative Council on Local Government Finance and its sub-committees; and to what extent he consulted the local authority associations before making such arrangements.

The consultative council itself considered the arrangements for the confidentiality of its papers two years ago and agreed that the general rule should be that papers would remain in confidence unless they contained any provisions to the contrary or unless Government Departments and the local authority associations both agreed that a particular paper should be published.

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will make a statement about the exact methods used for the calculation of the level of London clawback for 1978–79.

The level of London claw-back in 1978–79 was set to give London that level of needs element which would enable London authorities to levy pound-ages which produced the same poundage increase in average domestic rate bills as the average for authorities outside London. The calculation was made on the basis that authorities conformed to government assumptions on expenditure, inflation and balances. If my hon. Friend wants any further information perhaps he will write to me.