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Volume 176: debated on Wednesday 11 July 1990

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To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what account was taken of the funds to be made available under the European Community RECHAR initiative when standard spending assessments for local authorities for the current financial year were drawn up.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment (1) if he will take steps to ensure that the required contribution from Wakefield district council under the European Community RECHAR scheme does not count against its current approved capital programme;(2) what steps have been taken by his Department to ensure that money made available through the European Community RECHAR initiative is additional to local authorities, over and above their approved level of borrowing.

[holding answer 10 July 1990]: The Government take anticipated European Community receipts into account at the national level when setting the level of public expenditure programmes, so that these programmes are higher than they would otherwise be.Thereafter, capital allocations are made to individual authorities on the basis of overall assessments of their needs to spend. No explicit account is taken of whether expenditure may be financed in part through grant from the European Community. A limited exception has been made in the case of expenditure on the "other services" block. In the current financial year, the Government have held back credit approvals of £25 million to be distributed in respect of ERDF grant claims for expenditure on that block.