asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will make a statement on the latest projections for revenue spending of local authorities for the current financial year.
We have information on the 1985–86 budgets for most authorities. In aggregate, authorities are overspending their targets by just over £200 million or by 1 per cent. This is the lowest overspend since targets were introduced four years ago. Ratepayers are reaping the benefit, with rate increases in single figures for the third year in succession.During the 1960's and 1970's local authority current expenditure grew relentlessly in real terms by about 3½ per cent, per annum. Under this Administration, growth has been reduced to under 1 per cent. per annum. This year, budgets show that authorities are planning for no growth at all.