To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will state the amount of the increase in the central Government contribution to the cost of education in Cambridgeshire in 1991–92 over (a) 1990–91 and (b) 1978–79; and if he will make a statement.
Local authorities are free to determine their own spending priorities between services within the framework of the annual local authority finance settlement. The overall amount of RSG which Cambridgeshire receives and its share of payments from the national non-domestic rate pool is based on its standard spending assessment, SSA, the Government's assessment of the expenditure which the authority would need to incur to provide a standard level of service. The education component for Cambridgeshire's SSA for 1991–92 was £225 million; and for 1990–91 it was £193·4 million—cash figures. There was no equivalent of SSAs in 1978–79. Cambridgeshire's outturn recurrent expenditure on education in 1978–79 represented some £191 million at 1991–92 prices. That figure includes the cost of higher education which in 1989–90 became the responsibility of the Polytechnics and Colleges Funding Council, PCFC.