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Local Government Finance

Volume 204: debated on Friday 28 February 1992

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To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will list the statutory provisions relating to the levying by local authorities of a poll tax non-payment surcharge; and what is the total national cost of the non-payment surcharges levied by local authorities in England and Wales for 1991–92.

To comply with section 32 of the Local Government Finance Act 1988, an authority must make adequate allowance for estimated non-collection when setting its charges.Before the £140 general reduction, local authorities had made provision for £600 million for non-collection in 1991–92 when setting their charges.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will publish the total of local government (a)revenue and (b)capital expenditure by local government within each region, showing Greater London separately, for each year from 1978–79 to 1991–92 (estimated).

Capital expenditure


£ million










Greater London1,3621,4331,5922,5931,4311,369
South East (excluding Greater London)1,1471,2651,6482,1031,4501,457
South West429448543744578608
East Anglia196205263364263275
West Midlands585603705964703693
East Midlands401415456586448491
North West8018468561,098893910
Yorkshire and Humberside514591695872644677

1 Total expenditure figures are given for 1981–82 to 1989–90. Net revenue expenditure both are net of specific and supplementary grants, direct comparisons cannot be made as they derive from two different systems.

2 Revised estimate.

3 Budget.

4 1986–87 includes amounts charged direct to revenue or of her funds and not capitalised, and 1991–92 are not strictly comparable to earlier years owing to the introduction of Polytechnics were transferred out of local government from 1 April 1989.

5 Provisional outturn.

6 Local authority forecast.

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment how much money was paid to local authorities to cover the cost of the £140 reduction for poll tax bills.

The sum of £4·374 billion of grant is being paid in 1991–92 under the Community Charges (General Reduction) Act 1991. The sum of £4·346 billion of this had already been paid in respect of charge income forgone, and represents 90 per cent. of the amount due, based on local authorities' own initial estimates of charge income to be collected for the year. Further payments are to be made, with effect from 1992–93, to bring the total amount paid into line with the total income forgone on charges actually collected for the year. In addition, I estimate the £28 million will have been paid by the end of the financial year to reimburse authorities for rebilling and other administrative costs directly resulting from the Act.