To ask the Secretary of State for Social Services what real percentage increase, according to personal social services pay and prices, in expenditure would have been required between 1978–79 and 1986–87 by local authority social services departments in order to keep pace with demographic and other pressures; which local authorities fell below this line in 1986–87; what the budget growth of these authorities was; what was the actual expenditure on personal social services in these authorities; what the expenditure should have been to meet the level indicated; and what was the difference between these two levels of expenditure.
[holding answer 15 March 1988]: Taking 2 per cent. per annum as a broad measure of demographic and other pressures on the personal social services at national level, a 17·2 per cent. real percentage increase would have been required over the period 1978–79 to 1986–87. But demographic and other pressures do not bear evenly on individual local authorities and it is therefore not appropriate to apply this figure at authority level. Full relevant information is not available to enable a calculation based on local circumstances.