My honourable friend the Minister for Local Government (John Healey) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.
On 2 April 2008, I laid before Parliament a Written Ministerial Statement on provisional payments under the three-year Local Authority Business Growth Incentives scheme (LABGI). I am now in a position to announce the final payments, which will be made shortly. These payments include reward for years 1 and 2 of the scheme and new payments for year 3 of the scheme, distributing a total of approximately £296 million to 371 local authorities in England.
Authorities were given until 16 May 2008 to comment on the methodology outlined on 2 April 2008. The department received 28 responses, and the Valuation Office Agency received 59 inquiries directly. Most queries sought clarification of how the calculations had been performed or about data which had been used, timing of payments or confirmation that their proposed allocation was correct, while a few responses raised specific points on the methodology.
We have considered all responses received, and I am content that the published methodology has been correctly applied. I do not, therefore, propose to amend the methodology as published in the technical note (www.local.communities.gov.uk/finance/labgi/technote0708.pdf) or the way in which it has been applied. However, in a small number of cases, the proposed payment has been adjusted in response to a specific point raised by an authority or in relation to a previous overpayment.
Details of the payments to be made to each qualifying authority under the Government’s proposals can be found at: www.local.communities.gov.uk/finance/labgi/seconddtmn0708.pdf.
As a result of the adjustments made, approximately £101 million remains to be distributed and this will be retained as a contingency, as I explained on 2 April 2008 (Official Report, col. 56 WS).