To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what clarification or discussion he has had with Deloitte Haskins and Sells management consultants with regard to paragraph 53 of its final report on the financial position of Gwynedd health authority on the authority's financial position over the past two years and the underfunding of pay awards; and if he will make a statement.
[holding answer 17 December 1987]: The factorss identified in the paragraph referred to have applied to other health authorities in Wales and there is no evidence therefore that the authority has been unfairly treated. Gwynedd health authority has benefited from the second highest rate of revenue growth of all Welsh health authorities—37 per cent. in real terms—since 1978–79, and has thus been better placed than most to meet demographic and inflationary pressures. Authorities must budget for such pressures within available resources and therefore any increases in pay and prices above their expectations must have consequences for the level of patient activity that can be afforded. Authorities participate in the Whitley pay bargaining machinery and cannot be insulated from the effects of pay settlements they have negotiated.As far as the review body awards are concerned, the Government have in past years contributed to the excess cost of these awards over the allowance for inflation in authorities' allocations. This year, Gwynedd benefited from a contribution of £1·3 million towards the cost of these awards which, together with the allowance for inflation in the authority's allocation means that 96·7 per cent. of the cost of the awards has been met from specific funding.