The provisional financial settlement announced on 28 November confirms the increased investment in local services in 2007-08. Total Government grant will be £65.764 billion, an increase of £3.1 billion or 4.9 per cent. on 2006-07 on a like-for-like basis. This includes an extra £508 million above existing spending plans following joint work with the Local Government Association to identify pressures and the ways that they can be mitigated. Our proposals enable local authorities to deliver effective services without the need to impose excessive council tax. These provisional figures have been available to local authorities for the last year, facilitating the practice of advance planning and budgeting based on predictability. The deadline for comments on our proposals is 5 January.
(2) how many local authorities were in an (a) negative and (b) positive housing subsidy position in each of the last 10 years; and what sums were involved in each case.
Figures showing the positive and negative subsidy situations for local housing authorities in England for the ten years 1994-95 to 2004-05 (the last year for which audited figures are available) have been included in a table which has been placed in the House Library.
The housing revenue account subsidy system assesses each authority's notional income and notional need to spend in each year; where assumed income is greater than the assumed need to spend, the subsidy entitlement is shown as 'negative subsidy' and is captured by the system to cover assumed deficits in other authorities' housing revenue accounts. In recent years total surplus amounts redistributed have been smaller than total deficits and the Exchequer has contributed the difference.