To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what estimate he has made of the additional costs faced by local authorities resulting from the increased duties on petrol and diesel fuel and on authorities which have budgeted to spend at their limit; and what additional resources he is making available to such authorities in order to prevent cuts in services.
In reaching his decisions on the local government finance settlement, my right hon. and learned Friend took into consideration the expected level of inflation and the anticipated increases in pay and prices. Responsible local authorities make allowances for foreseeable expenditure arising during a financial year when setting their budgets, and we regard the effect of mineral oil excise duties on local authorities as constituting such expenditure. We do not therefore consider it appropriate or necessary to make additional resources available.