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Volume 976: debated on Friday 21 December 1979

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asked the Secretary of State for Social Services whether he will set out in 1979 survey prices estimated expenditure on the National Health Service in the United Kingdom in the years 1978–79, 1979–80 and 1980–81; and whether he will show separately the comparable figures for the personal social services.

The latest estimate of the out-turn of expenditure on the National Health Service in 1978–79 is £7,660 million net (£7,858 million gross). Estimated expenditure in 1979–80 is expected to be about £60 million higher, while planned spending for 1980–81 is £7,904 million net (£8,166 million gross). For the personal social services estimated out-turn in 1978–79 was £1,388 million net (£1,510million gross). It is not yet possible to make estimates of likely expenditure in 1979–80. Planned spending was £1,380 million net (£1,554 million gross), but local authorities in England and Wales have been asked to reduce their planned current expenditure on all services by 3 per cent. this year.The level of spending on personal social services is largely determined by individual local authorities in the light of their own needs and priorities, but the recent White Paper (Cmnd. 7746) assumes that in 1980–81 it will be about £50 million less than in 1978–79. All figures are at Survey 1979 prices and, as is usual in Public Expenditure White Papers, on a Great Britain basis.