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Local Government Finance

Volume 181: debated on Monday 26 November 1990

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To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will print in the Official Report the criteria used to determine the revenue grants for the next financial year for each of the regional councils in Scotland, including the population levels used in determining the grant-aided expenditure figure.

There are basically two stages in the procedure for distributing aggregate external finance to local authorities. First, an amount is distributed among authorities to equalise differences in their grant aided expenditure (GAE). The GAE of each authority is determined by the client group assessment approach which is agreed with COSLA and kept under regular review by the distribution committee of the working party on local government finance. Secondly, the rest of the support is distributed on a per capita basis.Details of the population estimates used in the calculation of the 1991–92 GAE figures are contained in the booklet "Grant Aided Expenditure 1991–92" (the so-called green book) published by my Department. A copy of this publication is in the House Library.

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will list the latest available information, for each local authority in Scotland, as to the numbers of people for 1989–90 and 1990–91 who (a) have or (b) have not begun paying the poll tax and the percentage of the number of liable adults that represents.

The information requested is not held centrally. It is understood however that most levying authorities have already collected or expect to collect over 90 per cent. of the total community charges due to them for 1989–90 and that their collection rates for 1990–91 are at present following broadly the same pattern as last year.