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Local Government Expenditure

Volume 975: debated on Monday 10 December 1979

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asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he has reconsidered his estimate of the expected total expenditure of local government in 1980–81; if this is at the central point of the range of estimates provided by his Department; and if it is similar to the estimates provided to him by local authority associations.

The planned level of expenditure in volume terms is that set out in the White Paper "The Government's Expenditure Plans 1980–81" (Cmnd. 7746). The outturn will depend on a variety of factors, including the cost of comparability awards, the level of pay settlements, price inflation and changes in interest rates, as well as the extent to which authorities maintain the volume of expenditure in the light of these. A variety of estimates have been made for a variety of purposes, including those made by officials of the local authority associations; I am not committed to any of them.